The Maiden of Ludmir – Jewish Hasidic Rebbe

Lisa Erickson, the woman who runs the “Mommy Mystic: women’s spirituality in the 21st century” blog ran a series of 5 entries last summer, titled “5 religions, 5 women mystics.” The Jewish installment was about “Hannah Rachel Verbermacher, also known as ‘the maiden of Ludmir’.

“[She] was a nineteenth-century Hasidic Jewish woman popularly known as the only female Hasidic Rebbe, or religious leader, although she was never officially accorded that status….She lived alone in a small hut, engaged in Talmudic study and engaging in Kabbalistic mystic practices usually reserved only for Hasidic men. On the Sabbath, she would give religious discourses through a small window. Over time, she developed a reputation, and people would travel from all over Eastern Europe to hear her discourses, receive blessings, or ask for advice or healings.”

Erickson covers Verbermacher’s life in five paragraphs and points to two books for further studies published on her “The Maiden of Ludmir: A Jewish Holy Woman and Her World” by Nathaniel Deutsch and “The Receiving: Reclaiming Jewish Women’s Wisdom“, by Tirzah Firestone.

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