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Bibil Identifier bibil:219567
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Women's Exemption from Shema and Tefillin and How These Rituals Came to be Viewed as Torah Study
Author Alexander, Elizabeth Shanks
Journal Journal for the Study of Judaism (Volume: 42, Issue: 4-5)
Year (Publication) 2011
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2011
Year (Copyright) 2011
Year (Reference) 2011
Language English
Pages 531-579 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract This article argues that the rabbis exempted women from Shema and tefillin because the rabbis understood these rituals to be forms of Torah study, from which women were already known to be exempt. Though the dominant scholarly position regards the Shema as a liturgical affirmation of key doctrinal commitments, this article demonstrates that performance of these rituals was also a means of internalizing the biblical text. As such, these rituals had much in common with Torah study, which was also a means of internalizing the biblical text. The article makes this argument by examining Second Temple sources which cite, paraphrase, or allude to the Shema verses. Where Second Temple sources engage the verses of ritual instruction, they regard the rituals as a means of internalizing various commitments (justice, the nature of God, divine beneficence). Against this backdrop, it becomes clear that for the rabbis too these rituals were a means of internalizing something: biblical scripture.
DOI 10.1163/157006311X586250
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Themes : Women
Pericopes Numbers 15,37-15,41
Deuteronomy 6,4-6,9
Deuteronomy 11,13-11,21
Last modification 2017-10-27