Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities: Intermarriage and Conversion from the Bible to the Talmud

By Christine E. Hayes | Go to book overview

Appendix B
Evidence for Intrinsic or Derived Gentile Ritual Impurity:
A Refutation

Several texts have been taken as evidence for the claim that Gentiles are deemed to bear an intrinsic impurity equivalent to corpse impurity or to be defiled by corpse impurity, yet these texts are for the most part ambiguous and inconclusive. The ambiguity arises in some cases from the rabbinic decree that a Gentile, though not impure by Torah law, should be considered to defile like a zav (see discussion pages 122–131). 1 Sometimes a Gentile is described as defiling objects in a manner consistent with the defilement generated by both a zav and a corpse contaminant. In such cases, it may be impossible to determine if the Gentile's ability to defile derives from his statutory status as a zav (by rabbinic decree) or because he is believed to suffer from corpse impurity or some other factor (e.g., his profane status). At the very least, it may be said that corpse defilement is never an inescapable conclusion.


The Impurity of Gentile Utensils

Among the sources identified by Alon (1977:149–156) as exemplifying a law of Gentile defilement in early times is t. AZ 8 (9):2, which requires the immersion of vessels — even unused vessels — purchased from Gentiles. Alon dismisses what he believes to be a later amoraic explanation of this law 2 and argues that according to the plain sense of the text, the ritual immersion of these vessels is not different from all other immersions: The immersion is purificatory and is intended to purify the vessel from Gentile uncleanness. 3 However, a close examination of the relevant sources suggests otherwise. Tannaitic rules for the immersion of vessels obtained from Gentiles are based on a paradigm case in Scripture in which vessels are acquired (as a result of a military defeat) from Gentiles. Numbers 31:22–23 details the two procedures to be followed to cleanse the vessels taken as war booty from the Midianites:

22. Gold and silver, copper, iron, tin, and lead

23. — any article that can withstand fire — these you shall pass through fire and they shall be clean (except that they must be cleansed with water of lustration); and anything that cannot withstand fire you must pass through water.

-205-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities: Intermarriage and Conversion from the Bible to the Talmud
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 309

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.