The word אמהות contains the letters א מהות their essence was to bring back the א the unity between the brothers in order to reestablish the bris of the Shevatim. It also possesses the arrangement of the letters that spell מהו את they were essentially את, to create their zechus of the bris of the Shevatim which enabled the geulah before the decreed time. This is for this reason that the Imahos are associated with bris. Not of their own accord but rather because of their role as being supportive partners in the bris of Shevatim which they rectified.
This partnership role of the Shevatim and the Imahos is alluded to in the very beginning of Sefer Shmos where it once again repeats the names of the twelve Shevatim. The Medrash explains that the purpose of this repetition is to teach that each of their names symbolize geulah from Mitzrayim and that the refuah was prepared before the makkah. That even though they were named for personal episodes of gratitude to Hashem: ראובן that Hashem saw my affliction, שמעון that Hashem heard my cries etc, nevertheless, these names were transferred to help the geulah of Am Yisrael from Mitzrayim when Hashem heard and saw their affliction. It is the bris of the Shevatim that allowed for our redemption before the decreed time and that is why their names are mentioned at the beginning of Galus. The reason why the Shevatim’s bris has the ability to redeem before the designated time אחישנה) Sanhedrin 88) is because the Imahos were the ones who strengthened the compromised bris of the Shevatim when they sold Yosef. Since they infused the Shevatim’s bris with their sole desire, endless tefillos and yearning to establish Shevatim, this yearning and davening of the Imahos became part and parcel of the Shevatim’s bris. If one truly yearns deeply for redemption, this alone can make it happen.
This merit of the Imahos is also hinted at the beginning of Sefer Shmos in the very first passuk איש וביתו באו. The word איש is referring to the Shevatim as the passuk continues to list them off and as the gematriah of איש is שבט. In truth this word seems superfluous since the Torah could have just written את יעקב עם ביתו באו. It must be that the Torah is hinting to another message by adding the word איש. We suggest that this word also alludes to the four Imahos that reestablished the bris of the Shevatim. For by calculating the inner letters of the Imahos; the ר from שרה, the בק from רבקה, the ח fromרחל and the א from לאה we have the gematriah 311 the gematriah ofאיש and שבט. This that the Shevatim’s names connote the bris of geulah is because the inner ambition of the Imahos was to establish Shevatim symbolized by word איש in the first passuk of Shmos. Without the Imahos the names of the Shevatim would not symbolize geulah since they compromised the bris of the Shevatim by selling Yosef to Mitzrayim the very place that they were enslaved.
Chazal say בזכות נשים צדקניות נגאלו ישראל ממצרים Because of the righteous women Am Yisrael were redeemed from Mitzrayim. We can suggest that the righteous woman the Chazal are referring to also includes the Imahos. For by fortifying the Bris of the Shevatim we were able to be redeemed before the decreed time of 400 years.
The Baal Haggadah mentions four sons corresponding to the four times the word בן is mentioned in connection to the retelling of Yetzias Mitzrayim. The reason why children are included in the Haggadah is not only because they are part of the Mesorah transmitted from one generation to the other. It is also because they implemented the geulah from Mitzrayim prior to the decreed time. Since the Jewish mothers in Mitzrayim miraculously gave birth to six children at a time, this extraordinary labor force was deemed enough to be reckoned as 400 years of hard labor. The Baal Haggadah includes in this labor force all four types of Yidden the chacham rasha, tam, and aino yodaiah lishoel. All of them were part of the labor force since Mitzrayim did not differentiate between the degree of religiosity amongst them, and therefore all of them were part of implementing the geulah prior to the completion of four hundred years.
Why did the Baal Haggadah create these four categories specifically? Why not five, six or three? We can suggest that these four types of sons who hastened the geulah from Mitzrayim parallel the four Imahos who also hastened the geulah by infusing the children of Yaakov with their fervor to establish Shevatim. One is able to see the zechusim of the Imahos mirrored through these four sons and their characteristics.
Rachel and Leah represent the tam and the aino yodaih lishol. Rachel was the tam, the tamim who doesn’t delve into the future but accepts what Hashem places before him (Devarim 18,13 Rashi). Rachel saw how Lavan was giving Yaakov’s presents designated to her over to Leah and nevertheless she remained silent. She accepted Hashem’s plan for her sister to marry Yaakov even though she now might fall to marry Esav. She herself implemented the marriage of Leah to Yaakov in a way where her sister would not be embarrassed. Nevertheless, because of her temimus not only did Rachel not lose out but she merited to be the Akeres Habais, the mother of Klal Yisrael who weeps for her children in galus and begs from Hashem for their return.
Leah on the other hand was the aino yodeiah lishohl. She was not aware that her sister Rachel forfeited her designated marriage with Yaakov. This that Rachel gave over the simanim to Leah at the night of the chasunah is interpreted to mean that she taught her the three halachos of niddah, hadlakas ner Shabbos, and challah which were the actual simanim. Rachel handed them over to Leah as halachos and not as a code. Leah therefore had no inkling that Rachel is being mosair nefesh allowing her to take her place in Klal Yisrael. She thought it was the norm as Lavan himself stated that the older is married before the younger and her crying over marrying Esav was a misinterpretation. That is why when Rachel asked Leah for Reuvein’s flowers Leah responded harshly with the words Isn’t it enough that you already took my husband! My husband? Rachel gave her the simanim to make her marriage to Yaakov possible. Where is the gratitude? The answer is that Rachel withheld the truth from her to the point where Leah had the chutzpah to say Rachel you should consider yourself lucky that you even married my husband. Therefore Leah is considered the aino yodaih lishoel. Because of Rachel’s merisas nefesh, tzidkus, and cover up, Leah had no inkling to even ask how was I zoche to marry Yaakov. She never felt that her role in the marriage to Yaakov was second fiddle.
Sara represented the chacham son. The Aishes Chayil perek of Mishlei is the hesped that Avraham said on Sarah Imeinu. It is here where we find a reference to Sarah’s chachmah פיה פתחה בחכמה. Chazal also refer to her possession of chachmah on the passuk אמרי נא אחותי את that Avraham advised Sara to say that she is his sister. Here the word אחותי is referring to chachmah as the passuk says אמור לחכמה אחותי את say to chachmah you are my sister (Mishlei 7,4). The Malbim explains that just like the closeness of a sister is not acquired but it is inborn, so too chachamah is inborn within a person. One has to strive to bring it out. The passuk is telling us that Sarah was referred to as being Avraham’s source of chachmah so it did not appear as if her statement would be an obviously lie that she is Avrham’s sister. We have proven that Sara Imeinu corresponds to the ben chacham.
Rivka Imainu corresponded to the ben rasha. For Chavah gave birth to Kayin and Hevel which both came from the Aitz Hadaas Tov and Rah, Kayin from the Rah and Hevel from the Tov. Rivka who was a gilgul of Chavah brought them back into the world through Esav and Yaakov, Esav the Rah and Yaakov the Tov (Megalleh Amukos Toldos). In this way Rivka carried the Rasha within herself and revealed him unto the world. Even though she carried within herself a rasha, she was not affected at all from such an influence.
These two zechusim of the bris Imahos and the four types of banim that were in the labor force together created the reality why we were enabled to leave Mitzrayim before four hundred years. The Baal Haggadah alluded to both of them with the words כנגד ארבע בניםwhich is gematria 452 the same as אמהות. The four categories of banim bring the geulah mirror the four Imahos and their avodah in Klal Yisrael.
Our last galus is over two thousand years. We must infuse ourselves with the passionate tefillos of the Imahos to awaken within ourselves the yearning to be redeemed from the constant deepening darkness and tumah that in brings. By this, our geulah will also be hastened and we will be zoche to greet Moshiach in our days.