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Re: orion-list Re: Starting a Fight--1st century texts
Thank you Steve Oren for your letter 0n 18:26 11/05/99 -0700. You wrote:
> This has brought us to the sub-issue of the restrictions of women
entering the Azara.
sources you brought denying access:
>Josephus' statements that women could not go beyond the woman's court in
the Herodian Temple and that non-Kohanical males could not go beyond the
Court of the Israelites,
>but we have also seen Philo The Special Laws who says that non-Kohanim
could slaughter only on Erev Pesach),
>the Sifra (repeated in B. Hagiga) implying women did not enter the Azara,
>and the Yerushalmi in Maaser Sheni suggesting that women would not be in
sources that you imply permit access:
>We have seen the story of Hannah (I Shmuel) who was clearly praying where
Eli could see and talk to her,
Here Eli is sitting on the chair- certainly not in the Azara [where it is
forbidden to sit] but adjacent to the shaar of the chatzair ["mezuzat
>the material in Malakhai 2 about women's tears on the altar,
Rashi: "hinenu lifnay hamizbeach lhibadek csotot" [here we are before the
altar to be tested as Sotot]-and the Sota is tested at Shaar Nicanor,
opposite and in view of the mizbeach, just outside the Azara.
>the Mishnah in the 1st chapter of Kelim that puts no limitations on where
women may go and permits Israelites to enter the court of the Kohanim
within the Azara,
This is negative evidence from ommission. Or perhaps it is permitted for
"a special need" as below.
>the Mishnah in Zevachim that says that women may slaughter sacrifices
(showing they could enter the Azara
because sacrifices can only be slaughtered there--
That women may theoretically slaughter sacrifices doesn't necessarily put
them in the Azara: she could stand just outside [Shaar Nicanor or others]
and shecht with a long knife an animal standing inside.
>the Mishnah in Bikkurimn that women could bring bikkurim into the Azara,
This may be an example of great need [no other way to bring Bikurim from
her field], or she brings them to the edge of the Azara, and then completes
the sending by way of a shaliach [messenger] while she watches and says the
>and the Mishnah in Qiddushin (with its associated discussion in the Bavli)
on women being betrothed in the Azara (since Qodshei Qodshim could be
Mekaddesh al yaday shaliach [betrothed by way of a messenger] who receives
the Qodshei Qodshim for her in the Azara, etc.
or this would seem to be the key to understanding:
> the Tosefta in Arkhin that they could only enter the Azara for a special
need (like Israelites in Kohanical territory),
Hope this adds some light.
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