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“As The Vows Of The Evil Folk”: The Structure And Implicit Message Of Mishnah’s Tractate Nazir

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is designed to explore the structure of Mishnah Nazir, emphasis here will be on the implicit message of Tractate Nazir as related to the Division Women. The topic for analysis has been divided into three themes: 1. Mishnah Nazir's place in the Order of Women, the third division of Mishnah; 2. Mishnah's relationship to scripture; 3. The rituals of the Nazir. The Mishnah framers chose to place Tractate Nazir - a theme not especially analogous or relevant to women - precisely in Division or Order Women, the third of the six divisions of Mishnah. The three taboos of cutting the hair, wine and corpse uncleanness convey this message to the Nazir and his society, a message regarding the expectations concerning holiness which derive from this adopted status and role, and a holiness viewed parallel to that of the priest serving in the Temple.

Keywords: Mishnah framers; Scripture; Tractate Nazir

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