The Sense of Sight in Rabbinic Culture
This book studies the significance of sight in rabbinic cultures across Palestine and Mesopotamia (approximately first to seventh centuries). It tracks the extent and effect to which the rabbis living in the Greco-Roman and Persian worlds sought to appropriate, recast and discipline contemporaneous understandings of sight. Sight had a crucial role to play in the realms of divinity, sexuality and gender, idolatry and, ultimately, rabbinic subjectivity. The rabbis lived in a world in which the eyes were at once potent and vulnerable: eyes were thought to touch objects of vision, while also acting as an entryway into the viewer. Rabbis, Romans, Zoroastrians, Christians and others were all concerned with the protection and exploitation of vision. Employing many different sources, Professor Neis considers how the rabbis engaged varieties of late antique visualities, along with rabbinic narrative, exegetical and legal strategies, as part of an effort to cultivate and mark a 'rabbinic eye'.
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Abbahu Amoraic Amoraim ancient anecdote Avodah Zarah Babylonian rabbis Babylonian sources Babylonian Talmud Bava Metsi’a Bavli beauty Berakhot biblical blessing blind body Boyarin chapter Christian context cult cultic culture Deuteronomy divine Ele‘azar erotic ervah evil eye Exodus face-bread female gaze gender Genesis Rabbah genitalia gentile God’s face Greco-Roman H.agigah heterovisuality holy homovisuality icons idolatry idols images imperial Israel Jewish Jews Joseph Judah Kalmin Lamentations Rabbah late-antique Leviticus Rabbah looking male Margaliot masculine Me’ir Mekhilta midrash Mishnah narrative notion Numbers one’s Palestine Palestinian and Babylonian Palestinian sources panim paralleled pilgrimage pilgrims prohibition rabbinic sources rabbis re’iyah receive the face Resh Laqish ritual Roman sacred sage Sanhedrin says scholars seen sense sexual Shabbat shekhinah Shim‘on Sifre sight Song of Songs Sotah story Tannaitic temple Tertullian texts Theodor-Albeck Torah Tosefta traditions trans veneration viewer viewing visible vision visual object visual piety woman women Yerushalmi yir’eh Yoh.anan Yoma Zoroastrian