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Paper for Judaism

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In Hauptman's analysis of the quoted passed (M Yevamot 15:1), Hauptman expands on the rabbis evaluations that, if the couple traveled abroad and there was peace between them and in the world, then she is believed to say that her husband died. However, if there was either discord between them (wife and husband) or war in the world, she is not believed. (Hauptman pg. 198) Hauptman doesn't give much insight into the passage and only briefly touches on the question, "did she (the wife) have reason to lie?" Hauptman notes Rabbi Judah's disagreement and skepticism, but concludes that although he is "less trusting of women, he still accepts their testimony if certain behaviours support it" (Hauptman pg. 198)

Within the quoted text (M Yevamot 15:1) Rabbi Judah disagrees with the first two opinions that if the wife came back and there had been peace between them and war in the world, or if there was disagreement between them but peace in the world that she will be believed that her husband had died. Rabbi Judah holds firm on his belief that unless she displays physical signs of mourning, she is never believed, even if there was peace between her and her husband and peace in the world (Hauptman 198). The sages counter Rabbi Judah's interpretation and appeal that whether or not she is crying, as long as she shows physical signs of mourning she is to be believed. Such external signs; torn clothing and weeping, would be easy to counterfeit in any case and are therefore not material to the sincerity of her words. If during the time the couple traveled across the globe, there was no discord between both of them and there was no war or civil uprising, then the woman is believed when she testifies of her husbands death. The rabbis are apprehensive that she might lie if there was conflict either between her and her husband or locally, thus by receiving permission to remarry when her husband is actually still alive; she would be causing herself to be forbidden to him when he returns home. By doing so, the wife could in turn force him to divorce her. In some cases, the wife might have a motive to lie, to initiate a divorce. The rabbis are certainly wary in the case when there is civil or global war, due to the fact that the wife could have mistakenly assumed that her husband was dead when in fact he had been taking as a prisoner of war. Consequently, if there was either discord between the couple or war in the world, the wife is not believed when testifying on her husbands death.

Hauptman argues that the rabbinic laws restricting women's ability to provide testimony in court and limiting their participation in religious rituals are *not* based on a misogynist view of women as defective, stupid, or untrustworthy. Instead, she argues that these rules are based on women's lower social status. "You can't testify against a man, even though you're likely to be honest, because you're



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