Bringing Down the Temple House by Marjorie Lehman
Engendering Tractate Yoma
HBI Series on Jewish Women
A feminist project that privileges the Babylonian Talmudic tractate as culturally significant.
While the use of feminist analysis as a methodological lens is not new to the study of Talmudic literature or to the study of individual tractates, this book demonstrates that such an intervention with the Babylonian Talmud reveals new perspectives on the rabbis’ relationship with the temple and its priesthood. More specifically, through the relationships most commonly associated with home, such as those of husband-wife, father-son, mother-son, and brother-brother, the rabbis destabilize the temple bayit (or temple house). Moving beyond the view that the temple was replaced by the rabbinic home, and that rabbinic rites reappropriate temple practices, a feminist approach highlights the inextricable link between kinship, gender, and the body, calling attention to the ways the rabbis deconstruct the priesthood so as to reconstruct themselves.
Year first published: 2022