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Something Good from Hebrew School

It was 1960, and I had never heard of Chanah Senesh, a Hungarian born poet who lived in Eretz Yisrael and parachuted behind Nazi lines in World War II. When my Hebrew school teacher handed me her biography, Chanah Senesh by Aharon Megged, little did I suspect that she would soon become my role model and her name my definition of a woman of valor. The picture on the book cover—of a soulful schoolgirl daydreaming of Judah Maccabee— said it all. I too yearned to be a hero of my people and I too thought of men as the embodiment of my dream. Although the book was in Hebrew, a huge challenge for me, I made my way through every last page, driven by an urgent sense of new possibilities.

Gila Gevirtz’s most recent book Partners with God (Behrman House), was written for Jewish school children and their families. She is writing a series of dramatic pieces for adults and stories for children based on women of the Bible.