I’ll never forget the first time I saw Judith with the Head of Holofernes, I was enthralled. Who was this woman? One hand grabbing the hair atop a decapitated head, her other holding the knife, and an expression that dared you to ask her what she had done. Her face so determined, her skin so pure,… her dress so clean for having just cut a dude’s head off.
In the typical Western Christian church we hear a lot about the “patriarchs” – Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph- of the faith. We don’t really get a chance to hear the stories of the women leaders of our faith, the Matriarchs of the Jewish and Christian tradition. This isn’t really that surprising as we seldom hear much about women in the Bible in general, unless of course they are pure and virginal or considered to be a prostitute.