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Title: Conceptions of Time and Rhythms of Daily Life in Rabbinic Literature, 200-600 C.E.
Authors: Kattan Gribetz, Sarit
Advisors: Schäfer, Peter
Contributors: Religion Department
Keywords: Antiquity
Subjects: Religion
Judaic studies
Ancient history
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation centers on the ways in which rabbinic texts from the first five centuries C.E. constructed daily and monthly rhythms of time and examines the intersections of those times at the outer boundaries of the rabbinic community as well as among those inhabiting various roles within the community. Part I explores the synchronization and differentiation of rabbinic and Roman time, and focuses in particular on the incorporation of the Roman calendar into rabbinic texts and on the integration of the Jewish seven-day week into the Roman calendar. Ironically, by trying so deliberately to separate from observing the Roman calendar and formulating laws intended to limit interactions between Romans and Jews on certain calendar days, the rabbis effectively integrated the rhythms of the Roman calendar into their own daily lives. Rabbinic sources, however, also present the origin and history of these Roman festivals as Jewish or biblical at their core, thus filling the Roman calendar with days that had Jewish stories - and indeed a long Jewish past - attached to them. Romans, too, adopted aspects of the Jewish calendar, especially the seven-day week and a day of rest, despite Roman arguments that resting every seventh day epitomized idleness and was an ill use of one's time. Part II confronts the question of gender in rabbinic time and the emergence of a gendered temporality in rabbinic law through the development of distinct rituals for men and women. In a shift from the way in which commandments had previously been conceptualized, rabbinic texts construct the category of "positive time-bound commandments," from which rabbinic law excludes women. There is, however, an entire set of time-related laws - the cycles of purity and impurity related to menstruation - that applied only to women and structured their time around different rituals. Women's bodies were also invoked rhetorically to articulate ideas about time through the use of metaphors of pregnancy, labor, birth and menstruation. Even as the rabbis--all men--define women out of what they consider to be time-boundedness, through both rituals and rhetoric women are effectively no less, though surely differently, time-bound than their male counterparts.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Religion

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