Wednesday, 24 February 2010

welcome to my nonsense

"...the mind of most women is not disposed to study, and they will turn the words of Torah into words of nonsense due to their limited understanding" Rambam Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:13

this quote is from Rambam's laws about Torah study, where he states that as women are not obligated to study torah they receive less reward for their efforts. However, why bother. Since women won't understand it anyway and will just turn it into nonsense.... or paper-cuts... (click on image to enlarge)

since the tone of this infantilises women, I have depicted them as school-girls. some studious...

and some just vacant and confused... (in a St. Trinians style)

picking up on the nonsense theme, there are various quotes from Alice in Wonderland dotted about

close up of the lettering, showing the english and hebrew handwriting

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Pride and Prejudice: Women and Tallit

(the context of this paper-cut is the recent arrest of a woman wearing a tallit at the kotel)

Rav Ovadiah Yosef has been quoted as saying "they should be wrapped in a tallit and buried" - hence the shroud in the bottom

the quote from the Rema seems to be one of the main objections to women wearing a tallit. it is permitted, with a bracha, but then disallowed due to yohora - religious arrogance. So I have included various haughty women who are grooming themselves.

and a dominatrix

and in the background of the lacework, there are tangled tzitzit. which I will never ever do again as a paper-cut.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Lechery! Adulteress!

this mishnah is discussing the ritual for women whose husband suspects them of being unfaithful. The woman has to go through a fairly shameful public procedure, culminating in drinking some bitter waters. If she is guilty of adultery then she dies, in a spectacular fashion. But there is a twist. if she has any Torah knowledge to her credit then it doesn't work. There is an opinion (Ben Azzai) in this mishnah (not quoted in this paper-cut) that women should therefore be taught Torah. However, along comes Rabbi Eliezer who says no. If women learn Torah then they will know that this won't work and therefore they will be at it like rabbits with anyone who comes along, as they know that they can get away with it. The hebrew is 'tiflut' which is sometimes translated as 'foolishness' or the sexually laden term 'whoreishness.' I like the finger waving tone of LECHERY. Unfortunately for the development of women's education in Jewish history Rabbi Eliezer's opinion became the influential voice. Because you can't trust women with Torah, when all they want is sex...

the lacework is moving away from the cheeky pin-ups of the previous paper-cuts. here you will find shamed women, a fist about to cast the first stone, lipstick on collar, blind-folded women, and of course, nothing says 'adultery' like a motel sign

as I have combined both the original hebrew and the english translation, I have slanted my english handwriting to match the hebrew script. makes it slightly less readable, but visually coherent.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

talking to women will send you to hell

The full text of this mishna is "Yose ben Yochanan of Jerusalem used to say: Let your house be open wide, let the poor join the members of your household, and do not converse much with women. This was said about one's wife, all the more so does it apply to another man's wife. Hence the sages say: a man who talks too much with women brings trouble upon himself, neglects the study of Torah, and in the end will inherit Gehinnom (hell)." (Pirkei Avot 1:5)
what starts as a positive directive to care for the vulnerable members of society ends in a concern for too much social interaction with one's wife. And other men's property, sorry, other men's wives.
it is often translated (by squirmy apologetics) as "do not gossip with women" as that would be degrading to them. except the hebrew is 'si'cha' which is a conversation.

whispering women - sexually alluring, or gossiping. either one is an activity that distracts those poor men.

amongst the lacework there are 'branks' - english 16th century punishment devices used for women who were accused of gossiping, and other misdemeanors that bring shame on their menfolk.

silencing women