The Women of the Talmud / Edition 1

The Women of the Talmud / Edition 1

by Judith Z. Abrams
     
 

ISBN-10: 1568212836

ISBN-13: 9781568212838

Pub. Date: 03/01/1995

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

In this unique volume Judith Abrams, author of the highly regarded series The Talmud for Beginners, examines the episodes recorded in rabbinic literature that suggest the actions of the women of those times. By overlooking what the sages thought about women, or what they believed women ought to do in theory, and by focusing upon the situational and behavioral

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Overview

In this unique volume Judith Abrams, author of the highly regarded series The Talmud for Beginners, examines the episodes recorded in rabbinic literature that suggest the actions of the women of those times. By overlooking what the sages thought about women, or what they believed women ought to do in theory, and by focusing upon the situational and behavioral patterns of these women, Abrams has constructed a credible and feasible account of what women belonging to the rabbinic era were actually like and the manner in which they conducted themselves on a daily basis. Upon looking at the materials presented, the reader will find that women were every bit as varied a group then as women are today; some were pious and respectful of the sages and some disregarded them; some were poor and others rich; some longed to be married while others yearned for divorce. Perhaps the greatest surprise to the reader will be discovering the large amount of power and control women had over their own lives. Far from passive, these women were not the powerless figures the reader may have thought them to be.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781568212838
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
03/01/1995
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
9.52(w) x 8.86(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Task at Hand
The Nature of Our Sources
The Sages' Agenda and Our Own
The Five Major Works of Rabbinic Literature
These Five Works as "People"
Some Notes on Style and Translations
1Torah Transcends Gender: Women and Sages' Learning1
Beruriah's Law2
Beruriah's Lore6
A Woman Studies Weekly8
Rabbi's Maid: An Unexpected Expert11
Women Who Did Not Keep Kosher13
Women Who Intermarried14
2The Matron: Jew or Non-Jew?17
Her Background17
A Role Model for Dealing with Rabbinic Rejection19
Good Relations between a Sage and Matrons22
Women's Study Groups Then and Now29
The Non-Jewish (?) Matron30
The Matron in the Bavli33
Why Did Scholars "Erase" the Matron?37
3Entering and Exiting Relationships: Theory versus Practice39
Dealing with Anger at the Sources39
The Mishnah's Ideal40
Ancient Sexual Harassment42
Becoming Engaged45
Irregular Betrothals48
Irregular Betrothals Today53
Martha's Marriage54
An Ancient Prenuptial Agreement57
Divorce59
Chalitsah61
4Virtue as Power I: Husband-Wife Relationships65
The Power of Virtue65
Rachel and Rabbi Akiba66
Beruriah and Rabbi Meir68
Imma Shalom and Rabbi Eliezer69
Other Wives and Husbands73
Laypeople Have More Virtue than Sages ...76
...Sometimes78
5Virtue as Power II: Women and Power in Society85
Women, Virtue, and Power85
Rabbi's Maid86
Helene88
A Woman in Court96
A Woman and Her Bequest98
Virtue and Political Power100
Yalta and Rav Nachman102
Women Who Insult Sages104
6The Truth Will Out: Women's Testimony109
Truth Telling and Rule Following109
Other Exclusions110
The Exclusion of Women111
A Woman Testifies113
The Daughters of a Sage Testify115
A Woman Testifies to Become Divorced117
A Woman and Her Witnesses119
7Diffidence and Distance: The Sages and Childbirth, Nursing, and Motherhood123
Women's "Gemara"123
The Idealization of Motherhood: High Priests and Their Mothers125
Sons Honoring Mothers and Vice Versa127
The Sages in the Waiting Room: Childbirth, Nursing, and Women's Domain129
Abaye's Nurse and Her Teachings131
Pregnant Women and Fasting133
Nursing135
8Judgment and Jealousy: The Sages, Sex, and Ritual Purity139
Ritual Purity and Impurity: The Basics139
The Sages and Women: Sharing Authority over Ritual Purity142
Intention and Ritual Impurity143
Ritual Purity and Jewish Diversity145
Yalta Shares Authority with Sages147
A Disabled Woman Acts as an Expert149
The Sages Shared Their Authority with Women151
Sexual Decorum152
Rabbi Eleazar and Rabbi Jochanan Take on the Essence of Womanhood154
9Women and Loss: Role versus Reality171
A Woman's Role in Mourning171
Martha172
Beruriah176
Rabbi's Maid183
Notes185
Bibliography187
Index191

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