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“Most Women Engage In Sorcery”: An Analysis Of Female Sorceresses In The Babylonian Talmud

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is concerned with the analysis of female sorcery as presented in the Babylonian Talmud. It seeks to understand, from the case of female sorcery one aspect of the paradigm of the ideal Talmudic Rabbi's society namely the role of women in the rabbinic social structure. The focus of the chapter will be women who practice sorcery. It discusses the explicit pericopae in the Babylonian Talmud that address sorcery and employ the term for sorcery from the Hebrew or Aramaic roots kishuf or haresh. The author's methodology does not examine the historical truth as expressed in the data; rather it explores the social world-view of its redactors.

Keywords: Babylonian Talmud; female sorcery; rabbinic social structure

10.1163/ej.9789004158337.i-234.22
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