Bruria

Bruria was the wife of the great Tanna, רבי מאיר, and was the daughter of רבי חנינא בן תרדיון. She was considered a great Torah scholar in her own right and was greatly respected.

The Talmud in מסכת ברכות tells one of the stories that made Bruria famous. Her husband, רבי מאיר, was constantly being taunted by thugs in their neighborhood. He felt that they were evil men and decided to pray that they die. Bruria asked her husband why he felt justified in asking for their demise. He based his reasoning on a Pasuk from תהילים that said, יתמו חטאים מן הארץ, that sinners needed to be destroyed. Bruria corrected her husband by saying that חטאים means “sins” and the word, חוטאים means “sinners.” Therefore, she told רבי מאיר that he needed to pray that the thugs did Teshuva. This way the sins would disappear and there would no longer be evil. He prayed and they repented.

Stories like this gained Bruria, fame and recognition for her specialness even in the days of the Tannaim.