Chattel or Person?: The Status of Women in the Mishnah by Judith Romney Wegner

By Judith Romney Wegner

Exploring where of girls within the socioeconomic process formulated within the Mishnah, a booklet of criminal ideas with a non secular foundation compiled via Jewish sages in second-century Palestine, this examine unearths a primary ambiguity within the function of girls. either the valuables and the friends of guys, in a few conditions girls have been thought of to own no powers, rights, or tasks in legislations, and in others have been judged morally, essentially, and intellectually healthy to possess estate, behavior enterprise, interact in court cases, and deal with their very own own affairs. Wegner spells out intimately those diversifications in prestige, analyzes them, and isolates the criteria that account for differential remedy of other periods of ladies within the deepest area and for differential remedy of fellows and girls within the public area of mishnaic tradition, referring to her findings to fresh advancements in feminist analyses of the prestige of girls in patriarchy.

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Yeb. } And he has the right to anything she finds, and to [the proceeds of] her labor [lit. the work of her hands], and [the power] to annul her vows [M. Ned. chap. 11]. And he receives her writ of divorce [if her betrothed husband divorces her before actual consummation of marriage]. [After daughter even if under age would keep her own writ of divorce as she then THE MINOR DAUGHTER D. E. F. G. 33 becomes sui juris (M. Qid. 1:1); cf. M. Ket. ] [When] she marries, her husband has one advantage [over her father] in that he does have usufruct [of her property during her lifetime].

Both lack legal capacity: For instance, neither can make a contract. But when it comes to religious vows, the sages consider whether a child close to maturity may have sufficient intelligence to understand the meaning of a vow. They prescribe a test that makes an interesting distinction between boys and girls. A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. [As for] a girl aged eleven years and a day, her vows must be examined. } At twelve years and a day, her vows stand [without examination]. [At that age there arises an irrebuttable presumption that she knows what she is doing.

1:1. The father may marry her off with or without her consent, in contrast to a minor daughter married off by her mother or brothers after her father's death (M. Yeb. } And he has the right to anything she finds, and to [the proceeds of] her labor [lit. the work of her hands], and [the power] to annul her vows [M. Ned. chap. 11]. And he receives her writ of divorce [if her betrothed husband divorces her before actual consummation of marriage]. [After daughter even if under age would keep her own writ of divorce as she then THE MINOR DAUGHTER D.

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