Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 53b
תלמוד בבלי שבת נג
תנו רבנן מעשה באחד שמתה אשתו והניחה בן לינק ולא היה לו שכר מניקה ליתן ונעשה לו נס ונפתחו לו דדין כשני דדי אשה והניק את בנו. אמר רב יוסף בא וראה כמה גדול אדם זה שנעשה לו נס כזה אמר לו אביי אדרבה כמה גרוע אדם זה שנשתנו לו סדרי בראשית אמר רב יהודה בא וראה כמה קשים מזונותיו של אדם שנשתנו עליו סדרי בראשית אמר רב נחמן תדע דמתרחיש ניסא ולא אברו מזוני
Our Rabbis taught: It once happened that a man's wife died and left behind a nursing child, and the man could not afford to pay a wet-nurse. A miracle happened to him and his breasts opened like a woman's breasts and he nursed his son. R. Yosef said, "Come and see how great was this man, that such a miracle was performed on his account!" Abayye said to him, "Just the opposite: how terrible was this man, that his body was changed!" R. Yehudah said, "Come and see how difficult it is to attain food for a person -- so much so that his body was changed! R. Nahman said: Know that miracles do occur, but food is not simply created. [Soncino translation, modified for accessibility and gender neutrality]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What do you make of the disagreement with Abayye and Rav Yosef about the gender-defying body of this man?

2. What does this text say about the interaction between gender and wealth?

3. How do you interpret the assertion that it is easier to change one's gender identity than it is to find work and food?

Time Period: Rabbinic (Maccabees through the Talmud)