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Re: women at Qumran

I am not convinced about Broshi's claims; I don't even know that he made
such claims!  But I tend to agree with Phillip Arnold's suggestion that
anything "special" that would have marked women's graves would be there for
ideological-purity reasons. The presence of women at Qumran does not
automatically suggest that the sectarians' views about women were
necessarily more "enlightened" than some other misgynists of the period
(e.g. Wisdom of Ben Sira chapters 9 and\or 25).  In fact, the purity laws of
Qumran regarding women were in some cases stricter that the Priestly Code.
Moreover, if we read some of the expressions in the Hodayot about the
lowliness, degradation, filth and pollution which characterize the human
race, we get a fairly uneasy feeling about the sect's attitude to women. At
one and the same time, though, they were "trapped" in a dilemma because they
fully accepted the command to procreate but also accepted the "pollution"
associated with it - so how can one overcome that "problem"?  

Ita Sheres.