By Saul M. Olyan
Psychological and actual incapacity, ubiquitous in texts of the Hebrew Bible, obtain their first thoroughgoing remedy during this monograph. Olyan seeks to reconstruct the Hebrew Bible's specific principles of what's disabling and their capability social ramifications. Biblical representations of incapacity and biblical category schemas - either specific and implicit - are in comparison to these of the Hebrew Bible's better historical West Asian cultural context, and to these of the later Jewish biblical interpreters who produced the lifeless Sea Scrolls. This examine can assist the reader achieve a deeper and extra sophisticated figuring out of the ways that biblical writers developed hierarchically major distinction and privileged sure teams (e.g., folks with "whole" our bodies) over others (e.g., people with actual "defects"). It additionally explores how old interpreters of the Hebrew Bible comparable to the Qumran sectarians reproduced and reconfigured previous biblical notions of incapacity and prior type types for his or her personal contexts and ends.
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Additional resources for Disability in the Hebrew Bible: Interpreting Mental and Physical Differences
Some texts praise a combination of physical beauty and wisdom, knowledge or 13:40 P1: KNP 9780521888073c01 CUFX262/Olyan 24 978 0 521 88807 3 April 16, 2007 CONSTRUCTIONS OF BEAUTY AND UGLINESS piety in the same individual, instead of focusing exclusively on physical attractiveness. oˆbat ´sekel) and beautiful with respect to appearance. Likewise, the Judean youths selected for the Babylonian court in Dan 1:4 are described as without “defect,” attractive in appearance, proficient in every type of wisdom, and knowledgeable.
This leaves us with no evident rationale that can explain what every “defect” shares in common, and why conditions such as deafness, 20:59 P1: KNP 9780521888073c02 CUFX262/Olyan 30 978 0 521 88807 3 March 17, 2008 PHYSICAL DISABILITIES CLASSIFIED AS “DEFECTS” muteness, mental disability, and “skin disease” are not constructed as “defects” in any biblical text. Most “defects” are, however, visible to the eye, long lasting or permanent in nature, and characterized by physical dysfunction, and more than a few share asymmetry as a quality.
In these passages, ugliness is characterized by thinness (probably, emaciation) and, perhaps, weakness14 ; these stand in opposition to plumpness, an attractive human characteristic according to Dan 1:15. Several texts concerned with the quality of animal sacrifices associate “defects” (mˆumˆım) with ugliness. ” Qualities constituting human ugliness are suggested by a number of texts. In Gen 29:17, Leah’s “weak eyes” are emblematic of her lack of beauty. 15 The same association of “defects” with ugliness was very likely the case for humans as it was for animals, although no text is explicit about this.
Disability in the Hebrew Bible: Interpreting Mental and Physical Differences by Saul M. Olyan