Friday, December 04, 2020

"Was Sefer Yetzirah Written by a Woman?"

FEMINISM AND RELIGION: Was Sefer Yetzirah Written by a Woman? Jill Hammer. It is quite possible that the community behind the mystical tractate Sefer Yetzirah included women.

There were women magicians in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages (see the Aramaic Babylonian incantation bowls etc.) and there was a famous late-antique female alchemist called Maria the Jewess. I would be surprised if there weren't also practicing female mystics, although I don't know offhand of decisive evidence for one. If any readers do, please drop me a note. (I touched on the question here some time ago.) Back in first-century Egypt, the mystical Therapeutae included women.

For PaleoJudaica posts on Sefer Yetzira (Sefer Yetsira, Sepher Yetsira, Sefer Yesira) see here and links (cf. here).

Cross-file under New Book: Jill Hammer Return to the Place: The Magic, Meditation, and Mystery of Sefer Yetzirah (Ben Yehuda Press, 2020). For more on Rabbi Dr. (and Kohenet) Jill Hammer, see here.

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