Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Excluded, as usual, but . . . (comment on Sefer Ha-Aggadah)

The other day, my husband was reading me the Sefer Ha-Aggadah's interpretation of what life was like in Noah's Ark. Per the aggadot (rough translation: rabbinic legends?), Noah and sons got no sleep because they were constantly feeding the animals in accordance with the animals' normal feeding times. It occurred to me that no mention whatsover was made of Noah's wife and daughters-in-law, who were also in the Ark (see B'reishit/Genesis, chapter 7, verse 7). I couldn't decide whether this was a bad thing, because, yet again, women were getting no credit for their hard work, or whether it was a good thing, because, for once, the guys were in charge of all the "childcare." :)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In agrarian societies, including ones in the general vicinity of our story, generally women tended to fields and men tended to animals. Wealthy men supported multiple wives and children because if you had land, you needed more people to work fields, and women and children worked fields.

Tue Sep 16, 02:25:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

That would be a reasonable explanation. Is it supported by the evidence? Assuming that my so-called memory serves me correctly--always a large assumption--didn't both Rachel and Tzipporah come to the well to water the sheep, and didn't Boaz tell the young men among his harvester crew to leave Ruth alone?

Tue Sep 16, 04:36:00 PM 2008  

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