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Jews at HomeThe Domestication of Identity$
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Simon J. Bronner

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113461

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113461.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Reimagining Home, Rethinking Sukkah: Rabbinic Discourse and its Contemporary Implications

Reimagining Home, Rethinking Sukkah: Rabbinic Discourse and its Contemporary Implications

Chapter:
(p.107) Three Reimagining Home, Rethinking Sukkah: Rabbinic Discourse and its Contemporary Implications
Source:
Jews at Home
Author(s):

Marjorie Lehman

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113461.003.0004

This chapter re-examines assumptions about the gendered meaning of the sukkah. It points out that this ritual structure, linked to the home but apart from it, forced negotiation between the spheres of the ritual and the domestic. The chapter looks at historic sources to reconstruct the process by which the rabbis dictated the gendering of the sukkah that persists to the present. It looks in detail at the male rabbinic figure Rabbi Yohanan ben Hahorani and at the female figures Shammai's daughter-in-law and Queen Helene in their sukkahs. They are observed as character types used by the rabbis for rhetorical purposes to express elements of their own anxiety about the rabbinic home and all that it represents. In this regard, just as the rabbis ‘think with’ the sukkah in order to think about home, they also ‘think with’ the gendered body that occupies home. Each of these three figures disrupts the expected social relations of husband–wife, mother–son, and rabbi–disciple within the spaces of different sukkah structures, and points to aspects of rabbinic identity-formation.

Keywords:   rabbinic discourse, sukkah, gendered meaning, Yohanan ben Hahorani, Queen Helene, rabbinic home, gendered body, social relations, rabbinic identity-formation

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