Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Quotes from Genesis Rabba--Part 4 (Sexism/Misogyny?)

Donald Bloesch (Is the Bible Sexist?, pages 94-95) thinks that "later Judaism" manifested an increasingly coarse attitude toward women as indicated by daily prayers like "I thank thee, O Lord, that thou hast not created me a woman." However, this disposition apparently was not limited to ancient Jews since Augustine of Hippo seemed to believe that man, not woman, is the image and glory of God. Ambrosiaster likewise considers women inferior to men and even Thomas Aquinas evidently thinks that women are (in one sense) defective males in whom reason evidently does not predominate.

Here is one passage from Genesis Rabba that possibly supports Bloesch's claim:

Woman was not formed from Adam's head, so that she might not be haughty; nor from his eye, so that she might not be too eager to look at everything; nor from his ear, so that she might not hear too keenly and be an eavesdropper; nor from his mouth, so that she might not be a chatterer; nor from his heart, lest she should become jealous; nor yet not from his hand, so that she might not be afflicted with kleptomania; nor from his foot, lest she should have a tendency to run about. She was made from Adam's rib, a hidden, modest part of his body, so that she too might be modest, not fond of show, but rather of seclusion. But woman baffles God's design and purpose. She is haughty and walks with outstretched neck (Isa. 3. 16), and wanton eyes (Isa. 3. 6). She is given to eavesdropping (Gen. 18. 10). She chatters slander (Numb. 12. 11), and is of a jealous disposition (Gen. 30- 1), She is afflicted with kleptomania (Gen. 31. 19), and is fond of running about (Gen. 34. 1). In addition to these vices women are gluttonous (Gen. 3. 6), lazy (Gen. 18. 6) and bad tempered (Gen. 16. 5).--Gen. Rabba 18.

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