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Are You Not a Man of God?Devotion, Betrayal, and Social Criticism in Jewish Tradition$
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Tova Hartman and Charlie Buckholtz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199337439

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199337439.001.0001

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Are You Not a Man of God?

Are You Not a Man of God?

Hannah, Hysteria, and the Roots of Jewish Prayer

Chapter:
(p.127) 4 Are You Not a Man of God?
Source:
Are You Not a Man of God?
Author(s):

Tova Hartman

Charlie Buckholtz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199337439.003.0005

This chapter examines the biblical figure of Hannah, whom the Talmud elevates into a central paradigm for Jewish prayer. It explains that through a series of provocative midrashim, the Talmud transformed Hannah from the seemingly anguished-but-demur figure of the Bible into a searing social critic filled with righteous indignation against her husband, the High Priest, and God. It suggests that Hannah was chosen by the Rabbis to represent prayer because her own prayer represents something essential about the nature of prayer itself and that there was something she embodied about prayer that was worthy of being canonized as the rabbinic tradition’s primary model for emulation.

Keywords:   Hannah, biblical figure, Jewish prayer, prayer, God, rabbinic tradition, midrashim, social critic, model for emulation

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