Naomi Graetz raises fundamental questions about the Samaritan woman and her encounter with Jesus at the well. Graetz observes in most Bible scenes, wells are sites for matchmaking, but concedes that might not have been Jesus’ intention. However, Graetz further alleges that Jesus’ managed to find that the woman did not have a husband; the author further alleges that Jesus prevented her from capturing him by telling her that she already had five husbands (Graetz, 2019). The writer attempts to castigate Jesus for holding what she calls a scandalous conversation with a woman and praises the Samaritan woman for her kind hospitality in line with the teachings of the traditions.
I do not agree with the writer because she appears to suggest men should avoid situations that could make sexual overtures or adultery possible. The writer could draw from the story of mana, which God sent when the people were starving (Kent, 2019). When Jesus’ companions abandoned him, he was exhausted and weary; it would have been natural to ask water from the woman. In the course of the conversation, one notices that the woman initiates the speech, with Jesus initiating on two occasions. Eventually, Jesus drinks from her vessel, while she becomes hi disciple because she proceeds to inform her people that she has met the Messiah.
I would compare the Samaritan woman with Rebekah, a woman of honor who proceeded to become Isaac’s wife. Just as the same way the Samaritan woman gave Jesus water to quench his thirst, Rebekah served Abraham’s servant and the camels. The two stories have parallels because they demonstrate how an act of kindness attracts favor from God, while an intransigent heart causes one to lose much. Essentially, the Samaritan woman should be seen as one who became an important disciple for Jesus after she convinced her people that she had met the Messiah.
Graetz, N. (2019). Forty Years of Being A Feminist Jew In Israel: A Book of Essays. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/login?login=jnaminde%40gmail.com
Kent, C. F. (2019). The Origin and Permanent Value of the Old Testament. New York, NY: Good Press