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.

2 comments:

Steve said...

There is a kind of madness to the illogicality of this quote that actually makes it quite endearing.

alicemarysblog said...

hello...I clicked on a lick on Steve's Prozacville and ended up here - this stuff is amazing! Where do you show your work? Is it exhibited in London? Info plz! :-D