Thursday, April 21, 2005

Go Yalta!!

In the Talmud, its very tough finding proto-feminist heroes, but in yesterday's daf we find a story that can be interpreted (or reinterpreted?) as challenging the dominant patriarchy. After being denied the ability to drink from a kos shel berakhah because she is told by her husband Ulla that a baby receives blessing only from the father and not from the mother, she breaks many barrels of wine. When Ulla tries to condescendingly placate her, she refuses to be appeased.
I think its possible to read Yalta as reacting to the assumption that women can only be blessed through child bearing, compounded by the assumption that this blessing itself is not due to their own merits. Similarly, she finds Ulla condescending when he tries to pretend that another barrel of wine is just like a kos shel berakhah.
I realize that it's right before Pesach (and my wife and I have a lot of cooking and cleaning to do together), but I'd like some more reactions about how they read the narrative. Also, I'm sure some Talmudist must have written an article discussing this narrative. Any bibliographical info would also be helpful.
Hag Sameah.


At Thursday, 21 April, 2005, Blogger Bryan said...

I found Yalta's reaction refreshing. She stood up for what she believed to be a slight against women.

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