The Madwoman in the Rabbi's Attic

The Madwoman in the Rabbi's Attic

Rereading the Women of the Talmud

Author: Gila Fine

ISBN: 9781592646739

Women in the Talmud are generally marginal and almost always anonymous – the daughters, sisters, and wives of prominent rabbis. The Madwoman in the Rabbi’s Attic explores the stories of the exceptions, the six named heroines of the Talmud: Yalta the shrew, Homa the femme fatale, Marta the prima donna, Heruta the madonna/whore, Beruria the overreacherix, and Ima Shalom the
angel in the house. As their epithets suggest, every one of these women appears to embody an antifeminist archetype. Yet in each case, a careful rereading reveals that there is a lot more to the story than initially meets the eye; that the heroine is far more complex than she first seems; and that the rabbis had rather surprising – so as not to say proto-feminist – views of marriage, sex, childbirth, and what it means to be a woman in the world. In presenting us with archetypes that systematically break down, the Talmud imparts profound moral teachings about how to read the characters of a text and, ultimately, how to regard the people in our lives.

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Language English
Author Gila Fine
Binding Hardcover
Number of Pages 288