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The Women of the Talmud - Judith Z. Abrams

The Women of the Talmud

Paperback Published: 1st March 1995
ISBN: 9781568212838
Number Of Pages: 224

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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.

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
Torah Transcends Gender: Women and Sages' Learningp. 1
Beruriah's Lawp. 2
Beruriah's Lorep. 6
A Woman Studies Weeklyp. 8
Rabbi's Maid: An Unexpected Expertp. 11
Women Who Did Not Keep Kosherp. 13
Women Who Intermarriedp. 14
The Matron: Jew or Non-Jew?p. 17
Her Backgroundp. 17
A Role Model for Dealing with Rabbinic Rejectionp. 19
Good Relations between a Sage and Matronsp. 22
Women's Study Groups Then and Nowp. 29
The Non-Jewish (?) Matronp. 30
The Matron in the Bavlip. 33
Why Did Scholars "Erase" the Matron?p. 37
Entering and Exiting Relationships: Theory versus Practicep. 39
Dealing with Anger at the Sourcesp. 39
The Mishnah's Idealp. 40
Ancient Sexual Harassmentp. 42
Becoming Engagedp. 45
Irregular Betrothalsp. 48
Irregular Betrothals Todayp. 53
Martha's Marriagep. 54
An Ancient Prenuptial Agreementp. 57
Divorcep. 59
Chalitsahp. 61
Virtue as Power I: Husband-Wife Relationshipsp. 65
The Power of Virtuep. 65
Rachel and Rabbi Akibap. 66
Beruriah and Rabbi Meirp. 68
Imma Shalom and Rabbi Eliezerp. 69
Other Wives and Husbandsp. 73
Laypeople Have More Virtue than Sages ...p. 76
...Sometimesp. 78
Virtue as Power II: Women and Power in Societyp. 85
Women, Virtue, and Powerp. 85
Rabbi's Maidp. 86
Helenep. 88
A Woman in Courtp. 96
A Woman and Her Bequestp. 98
Virtue and Political Powerp. 100
Yalta and Rav Nachmanp. 102
Women Who Insult Sagesp. 104
The Truth Will Out: Women's Testimonyp. 109
Truth Telling and Rule Followingp. 109
Other Exclusionsp. 110
The Exclusion of Womenp. 111
A Woman Testifiesp. 113
The Daughters of a Sage Testifyp. 115
A Woman Testifies to Become Divorcedp. 117
A Woman and Her Witnessesp. 119
Diffidence and Distance: The Sages and Childbirth, Nursing, and Motherhoodp. 123
Women's "Gemara"p. 123
The Idealization of Motherhood: High Priests and Their Mothersp. 125
Sons Honoring Mothers and Vice Versap. 127
The Sages in the Waiting Room: Childbirth, Nursing, and Women's Domainp. 129
Abaye's Nurse and Her Teachingsp. 131
Pregnant Women and Fastingp. 133
Nursingp. 135
Judgment and Jealousy: The Sages, Sex, and Ritual Purityp. 139
Ritual Purity and Impurity: The Basicsp. 139
The Sages and Women: Sharing Authority over Ritual Purityp. 142
Intention and Ritual Impurityp. 143
Ritual Purity and Jewish Diversityp. 145
Yalta Shares Authority with Sagesp. 147
A Disabled Woman Acts as an Expertp. 149
The Sages Shared Their Authority with Womenp. 151
Sexual Decorump. 152
Rabbi Eleazar and Rabbi Jochanan Take on the Essence of Womanhoodp. 154
Women and Loss: Role versus Realityp. 171
A Woman's Role in Mourningp. 171
Marthap. 172
Beruriahp. 176
Rabbi's Maidp. 183
Notesp. 185
Bibliographyp. 187
Indexp. 191
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781568212838
ISBN-10: 1568212836
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 1st March 1995
Publisher: JASON ARONSON INC
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.42  x 1.52
Weight (kg): 0.32

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