1The apocryphal E-book of Judith is undoubtedly a Jewish work, written by and meant for Jews, and Judith is portrayed as a super Jewish heroine, as her very title, Yehudit, ”Jewess,” signifies. Nonetheless, her story has had a checkered historical past among the many Jews and Judith appears to have disappeared from Jewish custom for effectively over a millennium.

  • 1 See Carey A. Moore, The Anchor Bible Judith (Backyard Metropolis, NY: Doubleday, 1985) (Anchor Bible 40), (…)

2Allow us to start with a quick take a look at the E-book of Judith, because it seems within the Septuagint, the oldest of the extant Judith texts. The guide opens with the profitable marketing campaign waged by Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, towards Arphaxad, king of the Medes. Nebuchadnezzar then sends his chief of employees, Holofernes, on an bold and punitive army marketing campaign directed towards those that didn’t be a part of him in his earlier, profitable struggle. All nations give manner earlier than Holofernes till he approaches the Jews, who resolve to withstand. The Jews of Bethulia should block the Assyrians’ path to Jerusalem and its temple. Holofernes, who’s unacquainted with the Jews, learns one thing of their historical past and non secular beliefs from his ally, the Ammonite Achior. Regardless of Achior’s warning that God could effectively defend His individuals, Holofernes locations a siege on Bethulia. When water provides run low, the individuals of the city press their leaders to give up to the Assyrians and Uzziah, the chief chief, guarantees to capitulate if there is no such thing as a reduction inside 5 days. It’s at this level that the pious, stunning widow, Judith, steps on stage. Judith, who leads an ascetic and solitary life, summons Uzziah and his fellow leaders to her house and reprimands them for his or her lack of religion in God. She then takes issues into her personal palms. Judith prays, bathes, and removes her widow’s weeds. ”Dressed to kill,” Judith leaves Bethulia for the enemy Assyrian camp, accompanied solely by her devoted maid. The glamorous Judith charms and deceives Holofernes – in addition to his trusty eunuch Bagoas – and guarantees to ship the Jews to the Assyrians with God’s assist. In her dealings with Holofernes, Judith will not be solely stunning, however sharp-witted. Her exchanges with the enemy commander are ironic and two-edged and her delicate, duplicitous phrases are one of many chief charms of the apocryphal guide.1 Holofernes invitations Judith to a celebration to be able to seduce her, however he drinks quite a lot of wine and collapses on his sofa. Judith then seizes Holofernes’s sword and cuts off the top of the sleeping basic. She returns to Bethulia with Holofernes’s head in a bag (and his cover as effectively). Achior the Ammonite converts to Judaism when he learns of Judith’s deed and sees the precise lifeless man’s head. The Jews of Bethulia, following Judith’s recommendation, subsequently take the offensive, attacking the Assyrian military and defeating them. Judith, praised by all, sings a victory track after which goes again to her quiet life at house. She lives till the ripe previous age of 105 and is mourned by all of Israel when she dies.

  • 2 Benedikt Otzen, Tobit and Judith (London: Sheffield Tutorial Press, 2002), pp. 81–93, is an excell (…)
  • 3 See e.g., Moore, Anchor Bible Judith, p. 86, and Pfeiffer, Historical past, p. 302, on the Jewish parts (…)

3This briefly is the plot of the Greek apocryphal guide and Judith, the heroine, is assigned a heady mixture of qualities: she is gorgeous and clever, a widow and a warrior, misleading, daring, and pious. There is no such thing as a purpose to suppose that the E-book of Judith is a historic account. It’s an inspiring story, stuffed with spectacular sounding, however problematic, historic and geographical particulars, because the very opening reference (LXX Jdt 1:1) to ”Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, who reigned in Nineveh” and the unknown ”Arphaxad, king of the Medes,” signifies.2 Neither is there any purpose to doubt the Jewish provenance of the work, by which we discover many references to Jewish practices. Prayers to God are accompanied by the customary fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. The temple in Jerusalem, with its clergymen, every day sacrifices, first fruits, and tithes, performs an necessary position as effectively. Judith herself is punctilious in her observance and he or she fasts commonly besides on Sabbath and festivals and on the eve of those holidays. She eats solely kosher meals, even in enemy territory, the place she additionally performs her ritual ablutions underneath troublesome circumstances.3

  • 4 See Jgs 3:11 and 30; 5:31; 8:28 (on Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, and Gideon).
  • 5 See Otzen, Tobit and Judith, pp. 74–79, and the additional references there.

4Not solely is Judith of the Septuagint a most Jewish heroine, however her story is offered alongside biblical traces. Certainly, the E-book of Judith is stuffed with many allusions to biblical characters, passages, themes, and conditions. Thus, Judith’s victory track (LXX Jdt 16:1–17) echoes verses from the Music of the Sea (Ex 15:1–21) and the final verse of the E-book of Judith (LXX Jdt 16:25), telling of the peace and quiet which lasted lengthy past Judith’s lifetime, is a deliberate echo of the system ”And the land was tranquil for forty years” used within the E-book of Judges to explain the tenure of profitable judges. This conclusion to the guide assimilates Judith to the biblical judges.4 Judith resembles different biblical characters as effectively, resembling David in his encounter with Goliath (1 Sm 17) and Ehud, who assassinates King Eglon of Moab (Jgs 3:12–30). Above all, Judith is paying homage to a sequence of biblical ladies, together with, in fact, Jael, who slays the final Sisera in her tent (Jgs 4:17–22; 5:24–27), and Esther, who charms a overseas king along with her magnificence.5

  • 6 Jan Joosten, ”The Unique Language and Historic Milieu of the E-book of Judith,” in Moshe Bar-Ash (…)
  • 7 See Jan Willem van Henten, ”Judith as Different Chief: A Rereading of Judith 7–13,” in Athalya (…)
  • 8 It’s particularly doubtless that the writer of the E-book of Judith was acquainted with the Histories of (…)

5The E-book of Judith didn’t survive in Hebrew. Whereas most students are sure that Hebrew was the unique language of the work, an more and more vocal minority of researchers counsel that the Septuagint model, which consists in cautious, however patently Hebraized Greek, was in actual fact the unique model of the guide.6 If, as these students counsel, the writer of the E-book of Judith intentionally composed a piece in Hebraic-sounding Greek with literal translations of biblical phrases, this raises a sequence of questions concerning the id of the writer, his7 viewers, and the place of the work’s composition. A Hebrew Judith was in all probability composed in Palestine, whereas a Greek one could be extra more likely to stem from the Jewish neighborhood in Alexandria. A Palestinian writer must be extraordinarily blind to his personal nation to incorporate a few of the geographical blunders discovered within the guide, in order that we’d assume that the errors are deliberate ones, positioned there for a purpose, whereas an Egyptian writer might have merely gotten issues fallacious. The 2 totally different languages additionally level to totally different sorts of audiences and cultural milieus: an writer writing in Greek would maybe be effectively acquainted with (and influenced by) Greek authors,8 in addition to the Greek Bible, whereas one writing in Hebrew would refer at the start to the Hebrew Bible. These sophisticated questions are removed from resolved.

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6In her paper, ”Holofernes’s Cover within the Septuagint,” Barbara Schmitz (Chap. 4) assumes that Greek was the unique language of Judith and that the writer of the guide was effectively acquainted with classical tradition. She examines a small, however telling, element discovered within the E-book of Judith, the cover (….p…) which Judith removes from Holofernes’s mattress and carries again to Bethulia, by investigating using the time period conopeum in Greek and Latin authors. This use of classical sources proves fruitful in decoding the textual content and narrative technique of Judith.

  • 9 See Pfeiffer, Historical past, pp. 292–95, for an in depth dialogue.
  • 10 Otzen, Tobit and Judith, pp. 78, 81–87, 96, and 132–35 surveys scholarly opinion on the date of Ju (…)

7There’s a basic scholarly consensus on the date of the E-book of Judith and it’s thought that the work was composed within the second half of the second century b.c.e. (or barely later). The setting of the guide is allegedly Assyria (and Babylonia) within the seventh and sixth century b.c.e., however there are traces of Persian and Hellenistic parts – resembling names, weapons, and establishments – within the work as effectively.9 Nevertheless, most commentators agree that historic occasions in Hasmonean occasions kind the background towards which the E-book of Judith was composed. The character of the tyrannical Nebuchadnezzar, who makes an attempt to rival God, appears primarily based on that of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, and Judith’s defeat of Holofernes resembles in some ways the encounter between Judah the Maccabee and the Seleucid commander Nicanor in 161 b.c.e. (1 Mc 7:26–50; 2 Mc 15:1–36). Each Judah and Judith are pious figures who handle to overturn the menace to the temple in Jerusalem posed by a merciless and boastful king, they usually behead the chief army commander within the course of. The proof for Hasmonean affect on Judith is mostly regarded as too robust to permit the work to be dated sooner than ca. 150 b.c.e.10 Since Clement of Rome mentions Judith on the very finish of the primary century c.e. (Epistle to Corinthians 1. 55), the guide should have been in circulation by then.

  • 11 Carey A. Moore, ”Why Wasn’t the E-book of Judith Included within the Hebrew Bible?,” in ”No One Spoke Il (…)
  • 12 See Roger T. Beckwith, The Previous Testomony Canon of the New Testomony Church and Its Background in E (…)
  • 13 See Joosten, ”Language and Milieu,” pp. 175–76, for the primary declare; Sidnie White Crawford, ”Esthe (…)
  • 14 Cf. Dt 23:4 (an specific prohibition of Ammonite conversion) and see Moore, Anchor Bible Judith, p. (…)
  • 15 Craven, Artistry and Religion, pp. 117–18; Crawford, ”Esther and Judith,” pp. 70 and 73–76.

8Regardless of its Jewish content material and orientation, and its many biblical allusions, there is no such thing as a proof that the E-book of Judith was ever a candidate for inclusion within the canon of the Hebrew Bible. There are a selection of explanations as to why Judith was not included within the canon, however no certainly one of these hypotheses is definitive.11 One concept considerations the date of the guide. If Judith was written after 150 b.c.e. this may increasingly imply that the guide was merely composed too late to be included within the canon earlier than it was closed. There may be, nevertheless, no scholarly consensus as to when the canon of the Hebrew Bible was firmly fastened and we all know as an illustration that the canonicity of Esther was debated effectively into the third century c.e.12 One other argument includes the language of the guide. If, as some argue, Judith was initially written in Greek within the diaspora of Alexandria by a Hellenized Jew, or if the Hebrew model disappeared at a really early stage, this could clarify why the guide survived within the Greek canon, however not the Hebrew Bible.13 A 3rd clarification facilities across the alleged violations of halacha, Jewish legislation, discovered within the guide. One problematic occasion is Achior’s conversion: he, an Ammonite, undergoes circumcision when he converts, however he doesn’t comply with the opposite rabbinical guidelines of formality immersion and a sacrifice on the Temple. It’s attainable, nevertheless, that the E-book of Judith was composed earlier than these rabbinical guidelines have been regularized and codified.14 A fourth concept factors to the highly effective position allotted Judith and means that she was just too feminist and unbiased to be accepted by the rabbis, who didn’t recognize her subversion of patriarchal norms.15

  • 16 Robert Hanhart, Iudith (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1979), pp. 7–18, experiences on the textual (…)
  • 17 James C. VanderKam, An Introduction to Early Judaism (Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans, 2001), pp. (…)
  • 18 See Louis H. Feldman, ”Hellenizations in Josephus’ Model of Esther,” Transactions of the America (…)

9Regardless of the purpose, the E-book of Judith was not included within the Hebrew Bible and the guide survived in Greek within the Septuagint, in Previous Latin variations and the Vulgate, however not, as we now have seen, in Hebrew.16 The work could effectively have disappeared from the Jewish custom at an early stage, for there is no such thing as a hint of Judith’s story within the Lifeless Sea scrolls (which embrace effectively over 2 hundred copies of assorted biblical texts, which date from roughly 150 b.c.e. to 68 c.e.).17 Neither is Judith talked about in Philo (ca. 20 b.c.e.-50 c.e.) or in Josephus (ca. 37–100 c.e.). Arguments from silence are tough: there may be, for instance, no surviving fragment of the E-book of Esther, a piece usually linked with Judith, from Qumran, and Philo doesn’t point out any of the apocryphal books. Nonetheless Judith’s absence from Josephus is value noting, for when he rewrites the Bible in his Jewish Antiquities, he shows appreciable curiosity in stunning, biblical ladies and he makes use of each the Septuagint and the Hebrew Bible when fashioning his tales. Josephus’s account of Esther, which incorporates many ironic and erotic parts, bears a specific resemblance to the E-book of Judith.18

  • 19 Origen, Letter to Africanus 19: Ἑβραῖοι τῷ Τωβίᾳ οὐ χρῶνται, οὐδὲ τῇ Ιουδίθ· οὐδὲ γὰρ ἔχουσιν αὐτὰ (…)
  • 20 Jerome, Preface to Judith (Robert Weber [ed.], Biblia Sacra Iuxta Vulgatam Versionem [Stuttgart: D (…)
  • 21 Jerome, Preface to Judith (Weber, p. 691). This point out of an Aramaic model additional complicates (…)
  • 22 L. E. Tony André, Les Apocryphes de l’ancien testomony (Florence: O. Paggi, 1903), pp. 164–68, is (…)

10We should flip, then, to early Christian writers for details about the standing of the E-book of Judith among the many Jews. Origen, writing in the direction of the center of the third century c.e., tells us that the Jews don’t use Judith (or Tobit) and provides that the Jews themselves have knowledgeable him that these two books should not present in Hebrew, even within the Apocrypha.19 Right here, too, we have to be cautious, for 5 fragments of the E-book of Tobit – 4 in Aramaic and one in Hebrew – have surfaced at Qumran, so clearly Jews have been nonetheless studying Tobit within the first century b.c.e. Maybe they have been studying Judith then as effectively, even when there are not any fragments of Judith in any language from Qumran. Jerome, who translated the E-book of Judith into Latin at about 400 c.e., says that the Jews depend Judith among the many Apocrypha (apud Hebraeos liber Iudith inter Apocrypha legitur), maybe implying that in his time the Jews nonetheless learn or had entry to the textual content.20 Jerome additionally states that an Aramaic textual content underlies his translation of Judith, a translation he allegedly completed in the midst of a quick night time’s work by the lamp (unam lucubratiunculam).21 The Vulgate model of Judith differs in some ways from the Septuagint one, and Jerome presents a humble, extra self-effacing heroine.22 We will see that it’s Jerome’s chaste and extra domesticated Judith who subsequently discovered her manner into a number of of the medieval Jewish texts.

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  • 23 If the Hanukkah sheelta – a homily on Jewish legislation and ethics – ascribed to Rav Ahai (680–752 c.e.) (…)
  • 24 There may be one notable exception. The biblical commentator and thinker Ramban (Nachmanides 1194– (…)

11Jerome and Origen, then, current inconsistent testimony on the standing of the E-book of Judith among the many Jews within the third and fourth centuries c.e., whereas within the Jewish custom we hear nothing in any respect. This Jewish silence continues for a lot of centuries, for Judith will not be talked about within the Mishnah, Talmud, or different rabbinic literature. It’s only from concerning the tenth (or maybe the eleventh) century c.e. onwards, over a thousand years after the apocryphal guide was first composed, that Judith is discovered as soon as once more in Jewish literature.23 When Judith does resurface, it’s in quite a lot of contexts and genres, briefly in addition to prolonged kind. Thus we encounter Judith in a number of totally different sorts of Jewish literature: Hebrew tales of the heroine, liturgical poems, commentaries on the Talmud, and passages in Jewish authorized codes. These later accounts differ significantly and it’s value noting on the outset that not one of the medieval variations tells a narrative equivalent to that discovered within the Septuagint. Certainly the Septuagint model of Judith nearly disappears from Jewish custom till trendy occasions.24

  • 25 See above p. 25 and Crawford, ”Esther and Judith.”
  • 26 . ”dies autem victoriae huius festivitatem ab Hebraeis in numero dierum sanctorum accepit et colit (…)
  • 27 See nevertheless Pierre-Maurice Bogaert, ”Un emprunt au judaïsme dans la custom médiévale de l’histo (…)
  • 28 Günter Stemberger, ”La festa di Hanukkah, Il libro di Giuditta e midrasim connessi,” in Giulio Bus (…)

12In lots of of those medieval Jewish sources, Judith turns into linked with the competition of Hanukkah, an eight-day vacation first instituted by Judah Maccabee in 164 b.c.e., to have a good time the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem. We’ve seen above (pp. 26–27) that Hasmonean happenings influenced the composition of Judith’s authentic story and in medieval occasions, maybe because of this, Judith turns into an precise participant in occasions surrounding the Hasmonean victories. Another excuse for the introduction of Judith into Hanukkah tales and customs appears to be the various parallels between Judith and Esther. Esther and Judith, two stunning and seductive Jewish heroines who save their individuals from the threats of a overseas ruler, are related collectively.25 On the identical time, the vacation of Hanukkah is related in Jewish eyes with the competition of Purim, for each festivities are late ones. The 2 holidays should not talked about within the Torah, however date to the Second Temple interval and their legal guidelines and customs are regulated by the rabbis. The vacations share a particular, parallel prayer, ”On the Miracles,” as effectively. Purim has a heroine, Esther, and a scroll telling her story, Megillat Esther, and apparently this led to the analogous vacation, Hanukkah, beingassigned a equally seductive heroine, whose story is entitled at occasions, Megillat Yehudit, the Scroll of Judith. It is usually value noting on this context the ultimate verse of the Vulgate model of Judith, apparently a late addition to the textual content, which speaks of an annual celebration: ”The day of this victory was accepted by the Hebrews amongst their holy days, and is noticed by the Jews from that point as much as the current day.” (Vulg. Jdt 16:31).26 Thus, despite the fact that there is no such thing as a precise foundation for linking Judith with Hanukkah,27 Judith’s story is often enmeshed with the story of Hanukkah in medieval occasions,28 and we discover this connection in a number of separate strands of Jewish literature.

  • 29 See, e.g., a Yemenite account of Judith just lately printed for the primary time in Moshe Chaim Leite (…)
  • 30 André Marie Dubarle, Judith: Formes et sens des diverses traditions: i: Études; ii: Textes (Rome: (…)
  • 31 Translations of assorted midrashim into English will be present in Charles James Ball, ”Judith” in Hen (…)
  • 32 Dubarle, Judith, passim is the strongest proponent of the view that the medieval Hebrew variations r (…)

13The Hebrew tales of Judith, usually termed the Judith midrashim, are the biggest and most diverse group of medieval Jewish texts that point out Judith. Whereas a few of the tales are attributed to named authors who will be dated, different tales are merely discovered anonymously, in manuscripts written as late because the sixteenth century. Two of the Judith tales are recognized solely in printed kind, in books relationship to the eighteenth century (texts D and 9) and there are, in all probability, an awesome many different Hebrew variations of Judith’s story which have but to be printed.29 Most of the texts can’t be dated with any certainty, however we now have seen above (p. 29) that at the very least a few of them have been already in circulation within the eleventh century. The tales should not readily accessible. They’ve been printed, mainly in Hebrew, in quite a lot of books and journals, however there is no such thing as a one complete assortment of the midrashim.30 A lot of the midrashim haven’t been translated into English in any respect, whereas the prevailing English variations of those tales are scattered in numerous venues and haven’t been collected collectively. French and German readers are higher served.31 Medieval Hebrew tales of Judith haven’t, it appears, entered the mainstream of Judith scholarship and students who’ve written about them have typically been not a lot within the tales themselves as of their sources and the probability that these tales protect historical Hebrew traditions which return to the unique E-book of Judith.32

  • 33 For different groupings of the tales, see Israel Adler, ”A Chanukah Midrash in a Hebrew Illuminated Ma (…)
  • 34 The writer of the E-book of Josippon (center tenth century c.e.) apparently was the primary medieval J (…)

14The midrashim will be grouped into a number of classes (with, as we will see, some overlapping).33 One group of Hebrew tales is intently associated to the Vulgate (texts B1, C, and D) and these accounts are translations of the Vulgate model of Judith into Hebrew, typically in abridged and tailored kind. A minority view holds that these medieval Hebrew tales protect the traditional, authentic Hebrew model of the E-book of Judith. These early Hebrew accounts have been then translated into Aramaic, runs the argument, and it’s this Aramaic model that Jerome subsequently interprets into Latin. Nevertheless most students contend that these midrashim stem from a a lot later supply, most likely a medieval Hebrew translation of the Vulgate Judith. Due to their shut resemblance to – and dependence upon – the Vulgate, these tales don’t train us a lot about medieval Jewish attitudes towards Judith and her story. They do, nevertheless, present necessary proof for a renewed Jewish curiosity within the E-book of Judith – and the Apocrypha generally – in medieval occasions. From the tenth century onwards, a sequence of medieval Jewish writers translated lots of the apocryphal works into Hebrew, usually in tailored kind, as a part of bigger (historic) compositions.34 The Hebrew Vulgate-based Judith variations are linked, at occasions, to Hanukkah as effectively. Thus the title web page of 1 such model (textual content B1) reads ”That is the guide of Judith daughter of Merari of Hanukkah,” despite the fact that there is no such thing as a point out of Hanukkah within the story itself.

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15A second group of tales (texts 1, 2a, and 9) consists of fairly temporary, folkloric accounts which focus upon Judith’s precise deed. These tales make little reference to the occasions described within the first half of the E-book of Judith and make no point out of Hanukkah. Transient although these tales could also be, their primary plot, which deviates in sure methods from the Septuagint, is adopted in all of the non-Vulgate variations.

  • 35 Bogaert, ”Un emprunt,” pp. 353–58, supplies fascinating oblique proof for the circulation of s (…)

16A 3rd group of Hebrew Judith tales (texts 3, 4, 5, 8, and 12) is straight linked to Hanukkah, and these tales fall into two components. Within the first half, we hear of the assassination of an enemy chief by Hasmoneans, who object to the chief’s need to train his proper of the primary night time (ius primae noctis) when their sister is about to be married. Judith, who’s now recognized as a relative of the Hasmoneans, performs her daring deed within the second half of those tales.35

17A very fascinating group of midrashim (texts 7a and 7b) are hybridtales which have a Vulgate-inspired account within the first half of the story, till instantly after Judith arrives on the scene. The second half of those tales resembles the accounts of Judith discovered within the Hanukkah tales.

18Two papers on this part examine these Judith midrashim. ”Shorter Hebrew Medieval Tales of Judith,” by Deborah Levine Gera (Chap. 5), examines the brand new, much less unbiased position assigned to Judith within the non-Vulgate variations and notes how Judith is diminished each inside and with out her neighborhood. Gera additionally compares and contrasts Judith with the Hasmonean lady described within the Hanukkah midrashim. ”Meals, Intercourse, and Redemption in Megillat Yehudit (the ’Scroll of Judith’),” by Susan Weingarten (Chap. 6), is a cautious examine of 1 explicit Hanukkah midrash and the necessary position performed by meals, particularly cheese, within the story. Weingarten sees this textual content as a Jewish response to the Christian portrayal of Judith as a precursor of the Virgin Mary. Each Weingarten and Gera observe the allusive, biblical Hebrew utilized in these tales and present how explicit biblical quotations are used to trace on the parallels between Judith and biblical figures.

  • 36 See Grintz, Sefer Yehudit, pp. 205, 207–08.

19Judith was celebrated in Hebrew poetry in addition to prose in medieval occasions, and there are two liturgical poems (or piyuttim) for Hanukkah which inform her story. The 2 poems (texts 10 and 11) have been recited in synagogues in numerous Jewish communities on the primary and second Sabbath of Hanukkah respectively. The primary poem, Odecha ki anafta bi (I give because of you though you have been indignant with me) (Fig. 2.1), was composed by Joseph ben Solomon of Carcassonne, who’s dated to the primary half of the eleventh century. This elegant and abstruse poem tells an epic story of the Jews’ resistance to the decrees of Antiochus IV and consists of accounts of each the Hasmonean bride and Judith. It bears a substantial resemblance to texts 4 and 12 of the Hanukkah midrashim36 and that is proof for the circulation of the joint Hasmonean daughter-Judith tales within the eleventh century, even when the surviving manuscripts of those tales are from a later date. The second poem, Ein Moshia veGoel (There is no such thing as a savior and redeemer), is by Menachem ben Machir of Ratisbon, who was energetic within the second half of the eleventh century. His poem could also be primarily based on the sooner one and he devotes just a few traces to Judith, evaluating her to Jael.

  • 37 Rashi on Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 23a; Tosafot on Babylonian Talmud Megillah 4a.
  • 38 Nissim ben Reuben on Alfasi, Shabbat 10a (on Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 23b).
  • 39 See the sources in Dubarle, Judith, i, pp. 105–07, 109, and the detailed dialogue in Leiter, A Okay (…)

20We’ve seen that Judith will not be discovered within the Talmud itself, however later commentators on the Talmud do point out her, at all times within the context of Hanukkah. These commentators don’t inform Judith’s story for its personal sake, however use parts of her story to clarify the commandments and customs of the vacation. Thus the foremost exegete of the Talmud, Rashi (Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac, 1041–1105), when discussing why ladies, in addition to males, are required to mild Hanukkah candles, merely notes that when the Greeks decreed that Jewish virgin brides have been to be bedded first by the ruler, a lady introduced concerning the miracle. We all know that Rashi was acquainted with the liturgical poem Odecha ki anafta bi as a result of he quotes it elsewhere (in his commentary on Ez 21:18), so it is rather doubtless that he knew of Judith’s deed, however didn’t select to say her by title. Rashi’s grandson, the Rashbam (Rabbi Samuel ben Meir 1085–1174), does point out Judith, and he’s quoted as saying that the chief miracle of Purim took place by way of Esther, and that of Hanukkah by way of Judith.37 Later commentators carry additional particulars. Nissim ben Reuben (ca. 1310–75), often known as the Ran, refers to Judith not by title, however because the daughter of Yochanan. In his account, which he says comes from a midrash, the girl gave the chief enemy cheese to eat in order to make him drunk, after which reduce off his head. This, provides the Ran, is why it’s customary to eat cheese on Hanukkah.38 Within the Kol Bo (part 44), a piece outlining Jewish legal guidelines and customs relationship to the thirteenth or fourteenth century, we discover a related model. On this account, the king of Greece makes an attempt to seduce Judith, the daughter of the excessive priest Yochanan, and he or she feeds him a cheese dish in order that he’ll grow to be thirsty, drink too m

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