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Bibil Identifier bibil:219295
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Of Proper and Unrestrained Men
Title (English, ) Reading Law, Narrative, and Desire in the Babylonian Talmud
Author Labovitz, Gail
Journal Hebrew Union College Annual (Volume: 79)
Year (Publication) 2008
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2008
Year (Copyright) 2010
Year (Reference) 2008
Language English
Pages 43-68 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract The relationship of legal and narrative elements in the Babylonian Talmud (and other rabbinic works) has attracted much scholarly attention of late. Additionally, a number of scholars have turned to reading rabbinic literature as an expression of the processes by which Rabbis constructed their particular vision(s) of Jewish culture and practice. Bringing these trends together suggests that any exploration of the question "what 'cultural work' is being done in this passage?"can only be found in examination of all its individual parts, both legal and narrative, and the interaction(s) between them. The significant problem that arises, however, comes out of the recognition that reading is not a straightforward or simple task, and that literary texts are marked by gaps that must be filled by the reader — and that, moreover, such gaps may be amenable to two or more equally plausible interpretations. In this article, this challenge will be explored through a reading of a sugya in Qiddušin 80b-81b. This sugya is commentary to m.Qidd. 4:12, which discusses rules to regulate yiḥud, private contact between men and women, and thus serves as a significant site of rabbinic thinking about the interrelated realms of gender and sexuality. I will demonstrate that this sugya is open to multiple, coexistent, and not necessarily reconcilable means of reading and interpretation. These varying interpretations carry with them in turn different, and again coexistent yet potentially contradictory, implications for eliciting and explicating the cultural work done by the sugya as it constructs its ideas about men, women, and sexual desire.
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Literature : Talmud (Babli and Yerushalmi)
Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Themes : Law
Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Literature : Talmud (Babli and Yerushalmi) : Nashim : Qiddushin
Last modification 2017-10-27