Trans Tal­mud: Androg­y­nes and Eunuchs in Rab­binic Literature by Max K. Strassfeld

Trans Tal­mud: Androg­y­nes and Eunuchs in Rab­binic Literature by Max K. Strassfeld

Trans Talmud places eunuchs and androgynes at the center of rabbinic literature and asks what we can learn from them about Judaism and the project of transgender history. Rather than treating these figures as anomalies to be justified or explained away, Max K. Strassfeld argues that they profoundly shaped ideas about law, as the rabbis constructed intricate taxonomies of gender across dozens of texts to understand an array of cultural tensions. Showing how rabbis employed eunuchs and androgynes to define proper forms of masculinity, Strassfeld emphasizes the unique potential of these figures to not only establish the boundary of law but exceed and transform it. Trans Talmud challenges how we understand gender in Judaism and demonstrates that acknowledging nonbinary gender prompts a reassessment of Jewish literature and law.

Year first published: 2022

Read a review on Jewish Book Council

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