Miriam Peskowitz offers a dramatic revision to our understanding of early rabbinic Judaism. Using a wide range of sources—archaeology, legal texts, grave goods, technology, art, and writings in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin—she challenges traditional assumptions regarding Judaism's historical development.
Following the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by Roman armies in 70 C.E., new incarnations of Judaism emerged. Of these, rabbinic Judaism was the most successful, becoming the classical form of the religion. Through ancient stories involving Jewish spinners and weavers, Peskowitz re-examines this critical moment in Jewish history and presents a feminist interpretation in which gender takes center stage. She shows how notions of female and male were developed by the rabbis of Roman Palestine and why the distinctions were so important in the formation of their religious and legal tradition.
Rabbinic attention to women, men, sexuality, and gender took place within the "ordinary tedium of everyday life, in acts that were both familiar and mundane." While spinners and weavers performed what seemed like ordinary tasks, their craft was in fact symbolic of larger gender and sexual issues, which Peskowitz deftly explicates. Her study of ancient spinning and her abundant source material will set new standards in the fields of gender studies, Jewish studies, and cultural studies.
Spinning Fantasies Rabbis, Gender, and History
The pandemic has created major supply chain challenges for publishers, manufacturers, warehousing facilities and shipping companies. Please allow for a minimum of 15 business days to receive your order. If you need your order sooner, consider purchasing from one of our retail partner links in the buying options. Thank you!