Die Landnahme im Negev: Protoisraelitische Gruppen im Süden Palästinas. Eine archäologische und exegetische Studie (review)
- Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
- Purdue University Press
- Volume 18, Number 3, Spring 2000
- pp. 133-136
- Additional Information
Book Reviews 133 possibilities were available to some women in Palestinian Judaism. The editors ofthe Babylonian Talmud, on the other hand, rejected the idea of women posing scriptural questions to sages because such female study did not occur in their geographical setting, and they did not reproduce these passages. Similarly, Ilan accepts that there must be some historical reality to the assertion that Rabbi Aqiva's wife played an essential role in his rise to greatness. Otherwise, she argues, this part of the story would have been suppressed, since Rabbi Aqiva's path to scholarly success could certainly have been imagined without the aid ofa woman. Finally, Ilan addresses the issue of names, noting that women's names are often missing in ancient sources since they tend to be identified in terms of their male relatives. Ilan contends that ofthe 52 women named in rabbinic literature, as opposed to about a thousand men, at least some are historical figures. However, in six narratives in four different rabbinic documents, Rabbi Aqiva's wife is named only once, as Rachel, in what is likely the latest text (Avot de-Rabbi Nathan A). Ilan doubts this name is historical; instead, she believes it was derived from an earlier version ofthe tale (B. Ketubbot 63a) where the saying "a sheep (ra~ela) follows the sheep" is cited to describe Rabbi Aqiva's wife and her daughter. Parallels between the story of Rabbi Aqiva and his wife and the biblical romance of Jacob and Rachel probably also played a role. The real name of Rabbi Aqiva's wife, however, remains unknown. In Mine and Yours Are Hers, Ilan has made a fundamental contribution to rabbinic studies by demonstrating a persuasive methodology to determine the historicity of a variety ofdetails in narratives about women. While Ban insists her conclusions are not revolutionary, all readers must agree that she has provided important tools for the ongoing scholarly accumulation ofhistorical data about women from rabbinic sources. Judith R. Baskin Department of Judaic Studies State University ofNew York at Albany Die Landnahme im Negev: Protoisraelit~sche Gruppen im Siiden Palastinas. Eine archaologische und exegetische Studie, by Detlef Jericke. Abhandlungen des Deutschen Palastina-Vereins, Vol. 20. Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz Verlag, 1997. 400 pp. DM 148.00. The scholarly debate on the emergence ofancient Israel (or Israel and Judah) in Canaan has come a long way since the by now "classical" hypotheses of William Foxwell Albright and Albrecht Alt, and their respective "schools" as worked out in the 1920s and 1930s. Their interpretations of the available geographical, textual, and archaeological data resulted in two antagonistic conceptions termed, in recent literature, the "conquest" and the "immigration" models. Both "schools" started from the assumption 134 SHOFAR Spring 2000 Vol. 18, No.3 that the ancestors ofthe later Israelites entered Canaan from outside. On the one hand, according to Albright this was accomplished by their conquering and destroying many ofthe Late Bronze Age cities. On the other hand, according to Alt the ancestors ofthe Israelites first settled down peacefully in the thinly populated mountain regions (Landnahme), but later extended theirterritory by clearing additional woodland and also by military attacks on the weakened Canaanite city-states (Landesausbau). Both approaches andtheir presuppositions have been severely criticized since the early 1960s by George E. Mendenhall, Norman K. Gottwald, and their followers, who introduced the so-called "revolution model." Mendenhall's basic thesis was that the "Conquest" was not brought about by invaders from outside Palestine but resulted from developments within Canaanite society. He explained the overthrow ofthe existing order at the end of the Late Bronze Age as the rebellion of the peasantry of Canaan against their city-state oppressors and their growth into a nation under the impact of the antimonarchic , egalitarian Yahwism of a group of fugitives from Egypt led by Moses. In Gottwald's elaboration of this theory, Mendenhall's peasants' revolt took the form of an egalitarian proletarian revolution. The last twenty years have seen a considerable number of divergent treatments of the conquest/settlement/Landnahme theme which, however, have almost all agreed on the basic assumption that the process described took place within the land of Canaan without any important population influx...