מכל מלמדײ השכלתי (duchifat) wrote,
מכל מלמדײ השכלתי
duchifat

H-Judaica продолжает жжечь

Regarding parts of the body and their associated emotions, it's interestingthat in English we have "hysteria" from the Greek for "womb," while in Hebrewthe womb is treated more nobly and associated with compassion, or in Aramaicwith love. Jastrow references Shabbat 128b: a lump of salt was put in an animal's wombto stimulate maternal instinct and compassion for her young, so that shewould feed it.
Julie Hilton Danan
California State University
Congregation Beth Israel
Chico, CA

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Regarding rechem/rachamim, I once heard a talk by the late Marvin Schwartz, who was a professor of music in the CUNY system and also one of the greatest tzaddikim I have ever known, who made a striking observation--an apologetic remark that is actually true. Both Greek and Hebrew, he said, have a word for womb that was made into an abstract noun that presumably captures the quintessence of womanhood. The Greeks produced hysteria and the Jews compassion. David Berger
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