Judaism and Disability: Portrayals in Ancient Texts from the Tanach through the Bavli

Judaism and Disability: Portrayals in Ancient Texts from the Tanach through the Bavli

by Judith Z. Abrams

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Overview

Judaism and Disability: Portrayals in Ancient Texts from the Tanach through the Bavli by Judith Z. Abrams

This perceptive book documents attitudes toward disabled people in the earliest centuries of this ancient culture. Abrams examines the Tanach, the Hebrew acronym for the Jewish Bible, including passages from the Torah, Prophets, and Writings, and subsequent commentaries up to and through the Bavli, the Talmud of Babylonia written between the 5th-7th centuries C.E. (A.D.).

In Judaism and Disability, the archaic portrayals of mentally ill, mentally retarded, physically affected, deaf, blind, and other disabled people reflect the sharp contrast they presented compared to the unchanging Judaic ideal of the "perfect priest". All of these sources describe this perfection as embodied in a person who is male, free, unblemished, with da'at (cognition that can be communicated), preferably learned, and a priest. As the Judaic ideal transformed from the bodily perfection of the priest in the cult to intellectual prowess in the Diaspora, a parallel change of attitudes toward disabled persons gradually occurred. Scholars, students, and other readers will find the engrossing process disclosed in Judaism and Disability one that they can apply to a variety of other disciplines.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781563680687
Publisher: Gallaudet University Press
Publication date: 07/28/1998
Edition description: 1
Pages: 236
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

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