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Defying All Categories: Witches in the Talmud

Hosted By: Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS)

This session explored the story of Rav Nachman’s daughters and examine their transformation from daughters and wives to witches. Taken into captivity and then returned, they emerge as women on the margins of rabbinic culture. For the Rabbis, this transformation is a means for communicating their deepest anxieties and fears. How do they respond to this kind of challenge to their world order? How do they seek to control the uncontrollable? In examining this story of women who are moved from inside the family to the margins of rabbinic life and culture, we may find resonances with our own complex journeys of navigating where it is that we are and where it is that we want to be.

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