Back to search results

"The rule that exempts women from rituals that need to be performed at specific times (so-called timebound, positive commandments) has served for centuries to stabilize Jewish gender. It has provided a rationale for women's centrality at home and their absence from the synagogue. Departing from dominant popular and scholarly views, Elizabeth Shanks Alexander argues that the rule was not conceived to structure women's religious lives, but rather became a tool for social engineering only after it underwent shifts in meaning during its transmission. Alexander narrates the rule's complicated history, establishing the purposes for which it was initially formulated and the shifts in interpretation that led to its being perceived as a key marker of Jewish gender. At the end of her study, Alexander points to women's exemption from particular rituals (Shema, tefillin, and Torah study), which, she argues, are better places to look for insight into rabbinic gender"--Provided by publisher.

Title Gender and timebound commandments in Judaism / Elizabeth Shanks Alexander.
Publisher Cambridge : Cambridge University Press
Creation Date 2013
Content Part I. Gender and the Tannaitic Rule: 1. The rule and social reality: conceiving the category, formulating the rule
2. Between man and woman: lists of male-female difference -- Part II. Talmudic Interpretation and the Potential for Gender: 3. How tefillin became a positive commandment not occasioned by time
4. Shifting orthodoxies
5. From description to prescription -- Part III. Gender in Women's Ritual Exemptions: 6. Women's exemption from Shema and tefillin
7. Torah study as ritual
8. The fringes debate: a conclusion of sorts
Notes Includes bibliographical references (p. 251-262) and index.
Format xviii, 281 pages
24 cm.
Language English
Identifier ISBN9781107035560 (hardback)
ISBN1107035562 (hardback)
System Number 990035308810205171

תנאי השימוש:

Terms of Use

The item is subject to copyright and/or contractual terms of use. 

You may use this item for non-commercial teaching and research purposes only, provided that due credit is given to the creator(s) and/or to the owner of the collection, as applicable.

It is forbidden to harm the author’s honor or reputation by means of altering the item or damaging the integrity of the item.

In addition to specifying the name(s) of the creator(s) when making use of their work, please acknowledge the source of the material as follows: 

From the collection of the National Library of Israel, courtesy of: ______*.

*The name of the collection owner that is indicated in the Library catalog

Any use that does not comply with the above conditions is subject to consent from the owner of copyright in the item and/or the owner of the collection from which the item originated, as applicable.

For any additional copyright information please contact NLI’s copyright inquiry service here.

If you believe that there is an error in the information above, or in case of any concern of copyright infringement in connection with this item, please contact us by e-mail:​​


Have more information? Found a mistake?