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Re: women at Qumran

At 09:06 AM 5/3/96 +0300, you wrote:
>On Thu, 2 May 1996, Ita Sheres wrote:
>> 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.
>Which rather begs the question as to why would they want to bring female 
>bones along - given the traditional views about the polluting effect of 
>human remains, and the assumed, under this scenario, views about women. 
>If the Qumran community did not allow women, why bring along their bones?
>and Islam in general.
>In a nutshell, what the reburrial scenario sorely lacks is some kind of 
>theory as to why the reburrial of female bones would make sense to the 
>Best,	 Asia [asia@cs.huji.ac.il]

It seems likely to me that men, women, and children--sympathetic to the
Qumran "teaching"-- would have journeyed to Qumran for the annual festivals
kept by the "true followers" of the "Way" on the "correct" days
according to their "inspired" calendar.  These followers--who lived in
various villages
and towns throughout the land--would have yearned to learn from the Qumran
teachers on
these special occasions and would have made it a point to be there.

>From time to time men, women, and children died during these festival
periods at Qumran and were
buried at Qumran. In order to distinguish their coffins from those of males,
the coffins
containing women were nailed shut.  Those males obedient to various purity
laws which
prohibited "iron" nails would received very special coffins "sacralized" by
the absence of nails.

We do not need to postulate re-burials--once is quite enough.

Phillip Arnold