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    Abraham’s mother – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Who was Abraham’s mother?

    A. According to Rav (3rd century Babylonia), she was Amatlai bat Karnevo (Bava Batra 91a).

    According to Rashi, her name implies that Abraham was influenced by his mother; kar is a lamb, a clean species of animal, and Abraham was a pious, upright person.

    The Talmud also gives the names of the mothers of Haman, David and Samson.

    Why, the text asks, were the names of these particular women not stated in the Bible itself?

    “In order to reply to the minim, the sectarians”.

    Which sectarians, and why did they need a reply?

    The problem appears to be that some groups questioned the authority of the oral tradition, and the Talmud is suggesting that only through oral traditions such as the names of Abraham’s and other people’s mothers is important information preserved.

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