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No Testimony of Women in Old Judaism!

7738 2010/06/30 2024/07/23
Article translated to : العربية Русский עברית

on the other hand, woman was not allowed to testify in the old jewish community. [22] the rabbis believe that woman is not qualified to testify because of the nine curses that have afflicted all women after the fall of man. even today in israel, woman is not allowed to testify before the rabbi courts. [23] rabbis justify the inability of women to testify on the basis of the torah (genesis 18:9-16)[1], where it is narrated that sarah, abraham's wife, lied. rabbis take this incident as evidence of the ineligibility of women to testify. jewish religious law recognizes that both jewish and non-jewish women are not allowed to testify before the rabbi courts. however, it allows woman to testify in very narrow limits on matters concerning women. in the cases that involve "fundamental judicial effort" woman is not allowed to testify because "women are lazy by nature." the problem appears when the testimony of a jewish woman contradicts that of a jewish man. the jewish religious law solves this problem as follows: "the testimonies of 100 jewish women are equivalent to the testimony of one jewish man." (this provision is stated in the english translation of the official talmudic encyclopedia (under the section "yisha", i.e. "woman"). however, this does not exist in any book that deals with judaism in english or in any other language). [24]




[22] ibid, p. 115.

[23] lesley hazleton, israeli women the reality behind the myths (new york: simon and schuster, 1977) p. 41.


[1] "and they said unto him, where is sarah thy wife? and he said, behold, in the tent. and he said, i will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, sarah thy wife shall have a son. and sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. now abraham and sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with sarah after the manner of women. therefore sarah laughed within herself, saying, after i am waxed old shall i have pleasure, my lord being old also? and the lord said unto abraham, wherefore did sarah laugh, saying, shall i of a surety bear a child, which am old? is anything too hard for the lord? at the time appointed i will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and sarah shall have a son. then sarah denied, saying, i laughed not; for she was afraid. and he said, nay; but thou didst laugh. and the men rose up from thence, and looked toward sodom: and abraham went with them to bring them on the way." (genesis 18:9-16)

[24] dr. israel shahak," israel's discriminatory practices are rooted in jewish religious law", washington report on middle east affairs, august 1995, pgs. 18, 119, also published in the israeli newspaper davar on march 15, 1995.).


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