Jewish Studies

Introduction to Seder Qodashim

A Feminist Commentary on the Babylonian Talmud V
Ed. by Tal Ilan, Monika Brockhaus and Tanja Hidde

[Einführung in Seder Qodashim. Eine feministische Auslegung des Babylonischen Talmuds V.]

2012. XI, 385 pages.
134,00 €
including VAT
ISBN 978-3-16-151930-7
Published in English.
The Order of Qodashim in the Talmud discusses the Temple and its rituals. The Jewish Temple was first and foremost a male institution. This introduction volume to the Feminist Commentary on Seder Qodashim discovers niches in this system where women were present and active.
The Order of Qodashim in the Mishnah and the Babylonian Talmud discusses the Temple and its rituals, especially the sacrifices. It is well known that the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, while it stood, was almost exclusively a male institution. The purpose of the feminist commentary on Seder Qodashim is to discover niches in this elaborate system where women were present and active. Differences between male and female participation in the Temple cult – as they are presented in the mishnaic and talmudic texts – are the topic of the essays in this volume. The contributions by highly esteemed scholars of rabbinic literature represent a surprising selection of topics that touch on Temple and gender. This volume sums up two conferences, held in Berlin and Jerusalem, devoted to the Order of Qodashim, initiating the Feminist Commentary Series on this Order.
Survey of contents
Tal Ilan: Introduction

1. Women in the Temple
Günter Stemberger: Did Women Actively Participate in the Sacrificial Cult of the Temple of Jerusalem? Some Preliminary Observations – Andreas Lehnardt: »The Scent of Women.« Incense and Perfume in ySheq 5:2 (Sheqalim) – Marjorie Lehman: Reading the Gendered Rhetoric of Yom Kippur (Yoma) – Moshe Benovitz: Miriam bat Bilgah in the Temple: Self, Symbol, Substitute or Stereotype? (Sukkah) – Ishay Rosen-Zvi: The Sotah in the Temple: A Well-Ordered Choreography (Sotah) – Tirzah Meacham: How Pragmatism Trumps Dogmatism: Marginalization and the Masses in the Case of Coming to the Temple (Niddah)

2. Women after the Destruction of the Temple
Aryeh Cohen: The Gender of Shabbat (Shabbat) – Gail Labovitz: The Omitted Adornment: Women and Men Mourning the Destruction (Mo'ed Qatan) – Klaus Herrmann: Do Women have Access to the Divine Realm? Temple Ideology in Judaism (Hagigah) – Christiane Tzuberi: »And the Woman is a High-Priest«: From the Temple to the Kitchen, From the Laws of Ritual Im/Purity to the Laws of Kashrut (Toharot) – David Levine: Why No Women in the Beit Midrash?

3. Women in the Temple and in Seder Qodashim
Dvora Weisberg: Clothes (un)Make the Man: bMenahot 109b (Menahot) – Jane Kanarek: All are Obligated: Sacrifice, Sight and Study (Arakhin) – Monika Brockhaus: אתנן זונה ומחיר כלב: How do the »Harlot« and the »Dog« Affect the Sacrifice (Temurah) – Federico Dal Bo: »Women to Think with:« Sexual Transgressions as Heuristics in bKeritot 17a-20a (Keritot) – Dalia Marx: Tractate Qinnim: Marginality or Horizons (Qinnim)

4. Women in Seder Qodashim
Tal Ilan: Males are for God, Females are for Us: Sacred and Kosher Slaughter Rhetorics in Seder Qodashim and Tractate Hullin (Hullin) – Moshe Lavee: Birth, Seminal Emission and Conversion: Gender, Self-Control and Identity in bBekhorot (Bekhorot) – Reuven Kiperwasser: Body of the Whore, Body of the Story and Metaphor of the Body (Bekhorot) – Sarra Lev: »Metaphors of Me'ilah: 'Metaphoric' Use of the Word מעל in Tanakh and in Rabbinic Sources« (Me'ila)
Ze'ev Safrai: The Place of Women in Non-Establishment Religion During the Period of the Second Temple, the Mishnah and the Talmud

Monika Brockhaus is academic assistant in the Feminist Commentary on the Babylonian Talmud Project.

Tanja Hidde works for the Feminist Commentary on the Babylonian Talmud Project.

Tal Ilan Born 1956; 1991 PhD on Jewish Women in Greco-Roman Palestine at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; 2003–22 Professor for Jewish Studies at the Freie Universität, Berlin; 2022 retired; since 2008 she is the editor of the Feminist Commentary on the Mishnah and the Babylonian Talmud (FCBT).


The following reviews are known:

In: Association Jewish Libraries Newsletter — May/June 2013, S. 25–26 (Jim Rosenbloom)