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Mothers in the Jewish Cultural ImaginationJewish Cultural Studies Volume 5$
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Jane L. Kanarek, Marjorie Lehman, and Simon J Bronner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764661

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764661.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

The Biblical Root ’mn: Retrieval of a Term and Its Household Context

The Biblical Root ’mn: Retrieval of a Term and Its Household Context

Chapter:
(p.327) Fifteen The Biblical Root ’mn: Retrieval of a Term and Its Household Context
Source:
Mothers in the Jewish Cultural Imagination
Author(s):

Deena Aranoff

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781906764661.003.0016

This chapter describes the maternal figure's connection to the etymological development of a key religious term, the Hebrew root 'mn, which is commonly translated as 'faithfulness' or 'constancy'. It talks about the abstract meanings of faithfulness and constancy as outgrowths of concrete maternal associations and provision of an infant's physical needs. The chapter recovers cultural traces of the maternal activities involved in childrearing in biblical terminology and traces maternal disappearance through the ways in which the meanings 'to rear, nurse' become muted abstractions. The chapter emphasizes how culture is embedded within language and how the physical activities of childrearing had a linguistic impact on the elite literature of ancient Israel. It then examines the subjectivity of mothers over their bodies and their own physical experiences as mothers.

Keywords:   maternal figure, faithfulness, constancy, childrearing, biblical terminology, ancient Israel

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