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Wives of Commoners and the Masculinity of the Rabbis: Jokes, Serious Matters, and Migrating Traditions

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This article analyses the migration of rabbinic narrative traditions between the land of Israel and Babylonia and examines plot transformations in these narratives in order to illustrate the cultural differences between these two centers of rabbinic thought. In particular, I explore the positioning of women as an internal Other and the construction of a rabbinic, masculine identity that is distinct from the masculine identity of the common, unlearned man. I will look at some brief, entertaining stories about a few rabbinic sages and their interactions with unnamed women and unidentified unlearned men.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Judaic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin 14195 BerlinGermany


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