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Subjects Bible. T -- Criticism, interpretation, etc Bible. Old Testament -- Criticism, interpretation, etc Gender identity in the Bible. Masculinity in the Bible. Femininity in the Bible. Sex in the Bible. Contents 1. Knowledge and Nakedness: Eve in the Garden of Signs 2. Passing as a Man: Patriarchal Gender Performances 4. Miriam's Fluid Identity 7. Bedrooms and Battlefields: Command Performances of Femininity 8. Notes First paperback edition Includes bibliographical references and index.
Electronic reproduction. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest affiliated libraries. View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links Set up My libraries How do I set up "My libraries"? Monash University Library. Open to the public ; The University of Melbourne Library. Open to the public. University of Queensland Library. Several examples include:.
Leviticus Leviticus Deuteronomy Deuteronomy Isaiah Jeremiah The Jewish intellectual and spiritual tradition demands that each individual engage with the many different and conflicting texts and traditions. It also asks human beings to use their knowledge and experience and add their voice to the dialogue as it continues to unfold in each generation. What are some of the understandings that can be drawn from these texts? What might this Jewish discussion mean—socially, religiously, spiritually, and politically—for trans, intersex, and genderqueer people today?
Several key aspects of the rabbinic discussion on creation can help to inform the ongoing discussion:. Today we are just beginning to reclaim these texts, and appreciate their contribution to the story of genderqueer, intersex, and trans lives. Further discussion about these traditions will no doubt reveal greater insights into their spiritual, theological, and intellectual significance for people of all genders. The Torah offers a number of different accounts of the creation of humanity in terms of sex and gender. Commentators, from ancient times to the present day, have also interpreted the creation story in vastly different ways.
In the classical Midrash Genesis Rabbah the Rabbis envisioned at least three distinctly different possibilities, all of which are supported by the Torah text. Alpert, Rebecca. New York: Columbia University Press, Bornstein, Kate. My Gender Workbook: How to become a real man, a real woman, the real you or something else entirely. New York and London: Routledge, Boyarin, Daniel.
Dreger, Alice Domurat. Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex. Harvard University Press. The Drag King Book. Holtz, Barry W.
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- TransTexts: Queerly Created.
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Peskowitz, Miriam B. Spinning Fantasies: Rabbis, Gender and History. Robinson, George. Essential Judaism. New York: Pocket Books, Here Rabbi Yirmiyah supports his interpretation by citing Genesis Chapter 8 of Genesis Rabbah presents a discussion about the nature of the first human being. Rabbi Yeremiyah ben Elazar offers the opening opinion: that God created the first human as an androginos.
His interepertation can also be understood to address the singular-plural problem. He understands the angroginos as the singular, bi-gendered, being referred to in the first half of the verse, and men and women as the multiple beings referred to in the second half of the verse. Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachman presents the second opinion: that God created the first human as one being with two front sides and no back.
Then God split these two front sides apart, and added a back side to each, creating two separate humans, one male and one female.
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He argues that the first human being is a singular entity in the first half of the verse, however by the second half of the verse it has been split into two bodies. Based upon the second creation story Genesis 2 , they argue against Rabbi Shmuel. They ask how a double-faced creature could hold the answer, when the Torah later says [Genesis ] that God took a rib out of the adam in order to make a woman? Such a creature would have neither a discernable sex, nor even a defined physical form. Midrash [says] that [God] created him, in the first creation, double-faced, and after that split them.
In this commentary Rashi, in his typical style, is explaining the apparent inconsistencies in the Torah with the help of classical midrash. Rashi is trying to explain why there are two different creation accounts and also reconcile the singular-plural problem.
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Rashi cites the opinion of Shmuel bar Nachman who argues in the midrash that the first human being was a double-faced and duel-sexed entity. He then offers an alternate explanation for the inconsistencies in the verse. Rashi argues that, although they appear to be distinct, both creation scenarios describe different moments within a single, cohesive creative act. How they were created is described in more detail in Genesis 2, where we learn that God first created a male-bodied being and then promptly fashioned a woman out of one of his sides on the same day.
This explanation reconciles the apparent conflict between the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2. It also explains why our verse Genesis is in both the singular and plural forms—the first half of the verse refers to the creation of the male being and the second half of the verse refers to later in the day when the female being had also been created. God created male and female and every combination in between. A merism is a literary figure of speech, used frequently in the Bible, by which a large single concept is referred to by a phrase that enumerates only two of its many parts, to indicate the breadth of the whole.
Thus this verse indicates not just that God created male and female bodies, but all of humanity and every gender that lies between men and women. Alpert; p. Furthermore, she argues that this text has been used to form the way we look at gendered social roles and not just sexual anatomy in Jewish tradition, promoting a rigid and hierarchical view of gender and sex. It is important to note that although this website includes many alternatives and potentially libratory ways of reading Genesis, the creation story has certainly been used through-out history to justify a rigid gender binary that is misogynist and heterosexist.
Sarra Lev Dr. TransTexts: Queerly Created TransTexts explores what traditional Jewish texts have to say about transgender and gender nonconforming experiences and gender in general. June 3, Many of us are in search of answers to some critical questions: How can Jewish texts continue to shed light on contemporary lives and spiritual struggles? If I want to explore Jewish understandings of gender and sexual identity where do I begin? Our Goal Our goal for this project is to create a portal to Jewish traditions.
The Singular-Plural Problem An examination of the entire verse reveals that the first created human is referred to first in the singular, and then promptly in the plural. The Two-Scenarios Problem The Torah actually gives two accounts of the creation of humans and animals. Genderqueer A broad political and cultural identity that includes many but not all transsexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming people, as well as others who see their gender as falling outside of mainstream gender norms.
This term is also sometimes used in a narrower sense by people who explicitly identify as neither male nor female. A brief history of sex difference In the 21st Century it is widely believed that there are two and only two ways of being human. This single-gendered view of human sexuality persisted throughout the medieval period.
Other references to people we might today call transgender and intersex in the Bible We find in the Tanakh Bible numerous references to the saris, a castrated male or intersex person. Several key aspects of the rabbinic discussion on creation can help to inform the ongoing discussion: According to our verse Genesis and all of the commentators on this verse, all human beings are essentially created in the image of God whether we are female, male, intersex or something else. Jewish sages also believed that God does not make mistakes. Consequently, if an individual was born intersex, they were believed to have been created exactly as God intended.
Notably, this is quite distinct from the approach of modern Western medicine, which deems intersex people to be errors of nature that need to be corrected. Commentators, from ancient times to the present day, have interpreted the creation story in vastly different ways. Classical Jewish texts are aware of a number of sexual possibilities for humanity, and these ideas were discussed openly. If the many sexes and genders of humanity all equally reflect the divine image, what does that say about God?
Some believe that God is multi-gendered, or all-gendered.