Congratulations on finishing Yehoshua (I still have a couple of perakim to do over Shabbat). I've very excited to learn Shoftim again in order for the first time since grade school.
Just stepping back a couple of weeks -
Did anyone else find it really really odd that Achsa fell off of her donkey to give her plea to Calev for better land?
I think of biblical personalities, and how they make requests to their masters, and fathers, and Hashem, and you don't see much outright dramatics when they are making a plea or disagreeing with someone in a higher status than they are. Many times we have seen frustration and anger at fathers (I'm thinking of Shimon and Levi after Yaakov chastises them about Shechem) and Hashem (everyone, all the time), but not falling off of a donkey in a fit and (again, my reading) complaining about her lot.
Rabbi Muskat changed my view of the scene slightly by saying that it was another example of someone taking initiative to improve their lot instead of sitting back and accepting their current situation.
However, it still bugs me that the author of the sefer decided to tell this story and include the fact that she was so upset about things that she couldn't keep hold of the reins. The author (is it Shemuel? Someone want to remind me of the gemara on this?) must be saying something about her character if he includes this scene in its entirety with all of the dramatics.
Am I alone here, or is this troubling to anyone else?
To add to Rabbi Muskat's point, the mipharshim suggest that Achsah took this bold action to bolster Othniel's position and status among the people , making him a more important person to be respected. When we view this in context of the end of Yehoshua's leadership, the decline of the people in following Hashem and the emergence of Othniel as the first Judge who brought the people back from their sinful ways, Achsah's action becomes relevant and possibly are a game changer.
If we consider the position of women sociologically at that time in history (it was a man's world) it is significant that the author of Judges, Shmuel chooses to include her name and this story at that point. In Judges it was common just to mention "the women" or the "wife" and not her name (as in the wife of Gilad, the daughter of Jepthe, the woman who killed Avimelech etc). I believe Yael Muskat gave a class on this and mentioned that when the name of a woman is listed (Devorah, Yael, Ruth) it is because what they did was considered influential and important and therefore their names our mentioned. Otherwise the story just says "the women" , "the wife", "the daughter". So perhaps Achsah's actions were deemed so significant to our study and knowledge of Nach that Shmuel included her story and name not only in Yehoshua but also in Judges.