Babylonian Talmud, Kiddushin 40a
תלמוד בבלי מסכת קידושין דף מ עמוד א
ר' צדוק תבעתיה ההיא מטרוניתא, אמר לה: חלש לי ליבאי ולא מצינא, איכא מידי למיכל? אמרה ליה: איכא דבר טמא, אמר לה: מאי נפקא מינה? דעביד הא אכול הא. שגרת תנורא קא מנחא ליה, סליק ויתיב בגויה. אמרה ליה: מאי האי? אמר לה: דעביד הא נפיל בהא, אמרה ליה: אי ידעי כולי האי לא צערתיך.
R. Zadok was summoned by a certain matron [to have sex with her.] Said he to her, 'My heart is faint and I am unable; is there aught to eat?' She answered him, 'There is unclean food.' 'What am I to deduce from this?' She then fired the oven and was placing it [the forbidden meat] therein, when he ascended and sat in it. Said she to him, 'What is the meaning of this?' 'He who commits the one [sexual immorality] falls into the other [the fire - of Gehenna / hell]', was his reply. 'Had I know that it is so heinous,' said she, 'I would not have tormented you'. [Soncino translation]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. Why did the matron attempt to seduce R. Zadok? What does she represent in this story?

2. What does R. Zadok represent?

3. How is gender used in this story to represent forces in the world? What do you think about this portrayal?

Time Period: Rabbinic (Maccabees through the Talmud)