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Chana Safrai

Chana Safrai is a senior research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, and a teaching fellow at HUCJ. She works in Talmudic literature, feminism and the relationship of early Christian literature and Rabbinic literature.

Articles by this author

Martha, daughter of Boethus

Martha, daughter of Boethus, was a widow from the respected Boethus family of Jerusalem who remarried a future High Priest of Israel. According to tradition, she paid a large sum of money to buy the position for her betrothed, Joshua ben Gamla, from King Yannai (BT Yevamot 61a). In the Lit. (from Aramaic teni) "to hand down orally," "study," "teach." A scholar quoted in the Mishnah or of the Mishnaic era, i.e., during the first two centuries of the Common Era. In the chain of tradition, they were followed by the amora'im.Tannaitic (mishnaic) tradition, the marriage of Martha daughter of Boethus and the High Priest Joshua ben Gamla (first century c.e.) is tied to a change in the laws of marital status pertaining to the High Priest. “[A priest who] betrothed a widow, and was subsequently appointed High Priest, may consummate the marriage. It once happened with Joshua b. Gamla that he betrothed Martha the daughter of Boethus, and the King appointed him High Priest, and he consummated the marriage.” (Codification of basic Jewish Oral Law; edited and arranged by R. Judah ha-Nasi c. 200 C.E.Mishnah Yevamot 6:4; Sifra, Emor 2:6). A High Priest may not marry a widow, but Joshua ben Gamla and Martha are an example of a High Priest married to a widow, although he betrothed her prior to becoming a High Priest. It can be assumed that Martha saw to it that her future husband achieved a high position, and perhaps even used her wealth to bring about the change in the The legal corpus of Jewish laws and observances as prescribed in the Torah and interpreted by rabbinic authorities, beginning with those of the Mishnah and Talmud.halakhah.

Kinnim (Tractate)

Tractate Kinnim (“nest” or “birds in a nest”), the last tractate in Order Kodashim, deals with the smallest type of sacrifice, a pair of turtledoves or young pigeons—one nest, hence the title. Scripture terms this type of sacrifice a bird offering, and it is divided into obligatory and voluntary offerings.

Bet Hillel and Bet Shammai

Bet Hillel and Bet Shammai are the two major schools of exposition of Oral Law that existed from the first century b.c.e. to the second century c.e. Talmudic tradition lists over three hundred and fifty disputes or controversies between Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel, including more than sixty disputes that deal with issues of family law—that is, disputes in which women are incorporated into the The legal corpus of Jewish laws and observances as prescribed in the Torah and interpreted by rabbinic authorities, beginning with those of the Mishnah and Talmud.halakhic discussion.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Chana Safrai." (Viewed on September 20, 2019) <https://qa.jwa.org/encyclopedia/author/safrai-chana>.

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