Yet without the bold initiatives of the Mothers – without consulting their husbands, without their husbands knowing, and sometimes in defiance of their husbands – there would be no AVOT, because there would be no Nation of Israel.
Sara Imeinu gives her handmaiden to Avraham – at the risk of humiliation – in order that Avraham should father a child and have a chance at becoming the progenitor of a great nation, as G-d had promised. She subsequently tells Avraham to send Yishmael and Hagar away, because she now knows that Yishmael is an impediment to the fulfillment of that very same promise. She does this at the risk of alienating Avraham, to say the least. As we know, G-d commanded Avraham to listen to Sara.
Rivka Imeinu risked being cursed by Yitzchak (and perhaps being killed by Eisav) by orchestrating the deception of Yitzchak in order that Yaakov should receive the bracha that was his.
Although Lavan was the prime deceiver when it came to Yaakov’s marriage, the “switch” would not have worked without the cooperation of Rachel and Leah. Our Sages tell us that their decision that allowed Leah also to be married to Yaakov was guided not only be Rachel’s feelings of compassion towards Leah (that she shouldn’t be “stuck” with Eisav). They both “knew” (with the help of RU’ACH HAKODESH, Divine inspiration, intuition, instinct - something) that both of them (and their SH’FACHOT, Bilha and Zilpa) were necessary and destined to be the progenitors of the Jewish People.
This was the same “knowledge” that guided Rivka to arrange for Yaakov to receive the bracha. And this was the same “knowledge” that guided Sara to do what she did.
The Jewish Nation would not - could not - have come into existence were it not for the bold actions of the IMAHOT. We owe them everything. Of course we also owe our very existence to the AVOT, but in the instances referred to here, the direction that the AVOT might have taken - Avraham with Yishmael, Yitzchak with Eisav, and Yaakov marrying only Rachel - could have doomed us before we existed.