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Archive for August 23rd, 2008

Here is a quote from a novel I am currently reading called The Source by James A. Michener:

On this matter the testimony of the Torah was clear. Women under Judaism were treated no worse than Near Eastern women in general: deplored at birth, endured in adolescence, married off as soon as possible, discriminated against in law and subjected to misery if they became unwanted widows. Numerous were the Biblical texts in which some Old Testament hero rejoiced at the news he was the father of a son, and one of the morning prayers recited by men included the passage: “Blessed art Thou , O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has not made me a woman.”

The sixty-three tractates of the Talmud developed each of these themes: “Happy is he whose children are male and woe to him whose children are female.” In passage after passage this massive body of Jewish teaching admonished against the dangers of the female… The Talmud specifically directed that women must not be taught to read religious works…

I know that this is not a historical textbook, but I remember hearing somewhere that a daily prayer Jewish men prayed was something like: “I thank the Lord I was not born a Gentile or a woman.” Anyhow, to me all those in the patriarchy crowd like to point back to the good ol’ days when the patriarchs ruled. Hmm… seems to me that those were awful times for women. Why do we want to go back to Abraham’s time?

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