“I Thought I Could Endure Him But Now I Cannot” – Gendered Sensory Landscapes in MKetubot 7.7-10 and Parallels

Natalie C. Polzer

Abstract


Four consecutive mishnayot, Mishna Ketubot 7.7-7.10, concerning the rights of men and women to end marriage and betrothal are examined through the lens of two overlapping theoretical frames, anthropology of the senses and legal aesthetics, in the process expanding traditional scholarly methodologies used to examine early rabbinic halakhah and the culture in which it emerged through the use of interdisciplinary theory. Using these theoretical frames, as yet unexploited as far as rabbinic halakhah is concerned, this study highlights the intersection of sensory experience and gender in rabbinic ideologies of marriage, through analysis of the language, rhetoric and formal structure of early rabbinic halakhic texts. 


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