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Women and the Messianic Heresy of Sabbatai Zevi, 1666 - 1816$
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Ada Rapoport-Albert

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764807

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764807.001.0001

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Historical Precedents and Contexts

Historical Precedents and Contexts

(p.57) Two Historical Precedents and Contexts
Women and the Messianic Heresy of Sabbatai Zevi, 1666 - 1816

Ada Rapoport-Albert

Liverpool University Press

This chapter analyses the rabbinic traditions that were inherited from four women who were called by the title of prophetess: Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, and Noadiah. It discusses how the Bible recognizes the phenomenon of the prophetess without pondering its validity and how rabbinic literature views it as problematic. It also explores the status of the Bible's prophetesses that conflicts with the Sages' fundamental exclusion of women from public activity and from positions of ritual, spiritual, or scholarly leadership. The chapter describes the classical rabbinic sources that increased with the number of biblical prophetesses known by name and who were acknowledged by the authenticity of their prophetic powers. It explains how prophetesses tend to deprecate their character by means of an exegesis that cast aspersions on their moral integrity or put them in the shadow of their husbands.

Keywords:   rabbinic tradition, prophetess, Bible, Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Noad, prophetic powers, moral integrity

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