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Are You Not a Man of God?Devotion, Betrayal, and Social Criticism in Jewish Tradition$
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Tova Hartman and Charlie Buckholtz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199337439

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199337439.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 April 2021

“Beruriah Said Well”: The Many Lives (and Deaths) of a Talmudic Social Critic

“Beruriah Said Well”: The Many Lives (and Deaths) of a Talmudic Social Critic

(p.82) 3 “Beruriah Said Well”: The Many Lives (and Deaths) of a Talmudic Social Critic
Are You Not a Man of God?

Tova Hartman

Charlie Buckholtz

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the iconic Talmudic figure Beruriah, a learned woman from an esteemed rabbinic family who finds herself repeatedly shocked by what she sees as a gap between the core values of the tradition and the thoughtless and/or irresponsible ways in which she experiences the rabbis treating her and others. It explains that the dominant modern reading of Beruriah presents her as a as a kind of proto-liberal feminist and highlights her accomplishment in gaining access to the world of men as a female scholar. This article offers an alternative interpretation which emphasizes Beruriah’s critique of some of their more systemic abuses of power and not her equality with her contemporary culture-hero counterparts.

Keywords:   Beruriah, Talmudic figure, proto-liberal feminist, female scholar, abuses of power, culture-hero counterparts

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