- Protesting Women: A Literary Analysis of Bavli Adjudicatory Narratives
- Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues
- Indiana University Press
- Number 32, Spring 5778/2018
- pp. 131-157
- View Citation
- Additional Information
In five brief narratives in the Babylonian Talmud, an unnamed female petitioner protests or cries out before a rabbi. Notwithstanding echoes in a handful of adjudicatory and non-adjudicatory narratives involving male characters, this group of narratives has a distinct set of recurring features: the narrative structure and use of the expressions “protesting (or crying out)” (ṣwḥ) and “did not pay attention” (lāʾ + šgḥ). This suggests that gender was significant in the crafting and transmission of some adjudicatory narratives, and that it influenced the borrowing of literary features among the narratives. This article describes the form of Bavli adjudicatory narratives, which are some of the briefest legal narratives in the Bavli. It argues for literary analysis of those narratives in light of the narrative features described. A concluding shows that English translations of the Bavli reflect gender bias in their translations of the verb, ṣwḥ.