Thursday, August 30, 2007


The current issue of Hispania Judaica Bulletin contains a Hebrew article by Hannah Davidson on Nahmanides' understanding of the menstruant. He believed, in the wake of Arabic scientists and Aristotle's experiment with the mirror. In his reading of Aristotle, the gaze of a menstruating woman, and definitely close contact with her, could cause great physical damage. He compares her look to that of a basilisk. I'm reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets this week, and Colin Creevey just fell to such a gaze.

In Davidson's article, she quotes Ramban's writings on the basis of manuscripts, with references to the appropriate page in Charles Chavel's editions. As has been noted recently, Chavel's work can definitely be improved upon, and better use of manuscripts is key. What I found frustrating, however, was that Davidson does not explain how she chose the manuscripts she uses, nor does she note where they differ from the printed text. Other than that, it is a fascinating read on a topic recently discussed by Sharon Koren as well.


Post a Comment

<< Home