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Torah QueeriesWeekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible$
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Gregg Drinkwater, Joshua Lesser, and David Shneer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814720127

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814720127.001.0001

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When Gender Varies: A Curious Case of Kere and Ketiv

When Gender Varies: A Curious Case of Kere and Ketiv

Parashat Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1–25:18)

(p.34) Five When Gender Varies: A Curious Case of Kere and Ketiv
Torah Queeries

Rachel Brodie

NYU Press

This chapter presents the biblical female character, Rebekah, within the context of Masoretes' interpretation. The Masoretes are group of men who are engaged in a process of standardizing the Biblical text. They found that Rebekah was mentioned as na'ar (young man) in the readings of Parashat Chayei Sarah. This description is related to Rebekah's attributes as a strong and muscular, capable of drawing hundreds of gallons of water. She is socially talented in acting forwardly and independently. In addition, Rebekah is hospitable and sensitive to the needs of animals. As such, the Biblical text itself seems to approve of the blending of stereotypically masculine and feminine traits.

Keywords:   Rebekah, Parashat Chayei, Masoretes, Biblical text, na'ar

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