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More Than Just Male and Female:

The Six Genders in Ancient Jewish Thought

Source Sheet by דף מקורות מאת Sarah Freidson
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Created June 10, 2016 · 2682 Views · נוצר 10 June, 2016 · 2682 צפיות ·
  1. (א) אדדוגינוס יש בו דרכים שוה לאנשים ויש בו דרכים שוה לנשים ויש בו דרכים שוה לאנשים ונשים ויש בו דרכים אינו שוה לא לאנישם ולא לנשים:

    (1) An Androginus (a hermaphrodite, who has both male and female reproductive organs) is similar to men in some ways and to women in other ways, in some ways to both and in some ways to neither.

  2. (ב) כיצד שוה לאנשים מטמא בלובן כאנשים וזוקק ליבום כאנשים ומתעטף ומסתפר כאנשים ונושא אבל לא נישא כאנשים וחייב בכל מצות האמורות בתורה כאנשים:

    (2) In what ways is s/he similar to men? Like a man, s/he is considered unclean through semen; is required to perform yibum (to marry the widow of a childless brother) like a man; dresses and cuts hair like a man; marries others and is not married off, like a man; and is obliged to perform all the commandments in the Torah, like a man.

  3. (ג) כיצד שוה לנשים מטמא באודם כנשים ואינו מתייחד עם האנשים כנשים ואינו עובר על בל תקיף ולא על בל תשחית ולא על בל תטמא למתים כנשים ופסול מן העדות כנשים ואינו נבעל בעבירה כנשים ונפסל מן הכהונה כנשים:

    In what ways is s/he similar to women? Like a woman, s/he is considered unclean through menstrual flow; s/he must not be alone in the company of men; and does not share [the inheritance] with sons; and cannot eat most of the holy sacrifices, like a woman...

  4. (ד) אמר רבי יהושע: שמעתי שהסריס חולץ וחולצין לאשתו, והסריס לא חולץ ולא חולצין לאשתו, ואין לי לפרש. אמר רבי עקיבא: אני אפרש. סריס אדם חולץ וחולצין לאשתו, מפני שהיתה לו שעת הכשר. סריס חמה לא חולץ ולא חולצין לאשתו, מפני שלא היתה לו שעת הכשר. רבי אליעזר אומר: לא כי, אלא סריס חמה חולץ וחולצין לאשתו, מפני שיש לו רפואה. סריס אדם לא חולץ ולא חולצין לאשתו, מפני שאין לו רפואה. העיד רבי יהושע בן בתירא על בן מגוסת שהיה בירושלים סריס אדם, ויבמו את אשתו, לקים דברי רבי עקיבא.

    (4) Rabbi Yehoshua said: I have heard that a saris (eunuch) undergoes Chalitzah [the ceremony releasing the widow of a childless man from the obligation of Levirate marriage] and that one undergoes Chalitzah for his wife; and that a eunuch does not undergo Chalitzah and that one does not undergo Chalitzah for his wife, but I am unable to explain this. Rabbi Akiva said: I will explain it: a man-eunuch [castrated by a person] undergoes Chalitzah and one undergoes Chalitzah for his wife because there was a time when he was fit [to have children]; a sun-eunuch [who was born that way] does not undergo Chalitzah nor does one undergo Chalitzah for his wife since there was never a time when he was fit. Rabbi Eliezer says: Not so! Rather, a sun-eunuch undergoes Chalitzah and one undergoes Chalitzah for his wife because because there is a cure; a man-eunuch does not undergo Chalitzah nor does one undergo Chalitzah for his wife since he has no cure. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Betiera testified concerning Ben Megusat who was a man-eunuch in Jerusalem and they performed Yibum [Levirate marriage wherein a man weds his childless brother's widow] for his wife, to uphold the opinion of Rabbi Akiva.

  5. (ה) הסריס לא חולץ ולא מיבם. וכן אילונית לא חולצת ולא מתיבמת. הסריס שחלץ ליבמתו לא פסלה, בעלה פסלה מפני שהיא בעילת זנות. וכן אילונית שחלצו לה אחין, לא פסלוה. בעלוה, פסלוה, מפני שבעילתה בעילת זנות.

    (5) The eunuch neither undergoes Chalitzah nor performs Yibum. Similarly, an aiylonit [a woman with arrested sexual development who cannot bear children] neither performs Chalitzah nor undergoes Yibum. [If] a eunuch underwent Chalitzah from his Yevama [a woman whose husband died childless and whose brother-in-law must marry or dismiss her] he does not disqualify her [from subsequently marrying a priest]. If he had relations with her he does disqualify her since this is licentious relations [because she is forbidden to him]. Similarly, [if] brothers underwent Chalitzah from aiylonit they do not disqualify her [from marrying a priest]. If they had relations with her they do disqualify her since this is licentious relations.

  6. (ו) סריס חמה כהן שנשא בת ישראל, מאכילה בתרומה. רבי יוסי ורבי שמעון אומרים: אנדרוגינוס כהן שנשא בת ישראל, מאכילה בתרומה. רבי יהודה אומר: טמטום שנקרע ונמצא זכר, לא יחלוץ מפני שהוא כסריס. אנדרוגינוס נושא, אבל לא נשא. רבי אליעזר אומר: אנדרוגינוס חיבים עליו סקילה כזכר.

    (6) [If] a priest who was a sun-eunuch married the daughter of an Israelite, he confers upon her the right to eat Terumah [a portion of a crop given to a priest which becomes holy upon separation and may only be consumed by priests and their households]. Rabbi Yose and Rabbi Shimon said: [If] a priest who was an androginos [person with both male and female sexual organs. It is halachically uncertain whether such a person is male, female or, perhaps, has a uniquely defined halachic gender] married the daughter of an Israelite, he confers upon her the right to eat Terumah . Rabbi Yehudah said: [If] a tumtum [person with recessed sexual organs whose gender is therefore impossible to determine, presently, by external examination. It is halachically uncertain whether such a person is male or female] was torn and found to be male he may not undergo Chalitzah because he is like a eunuch. An androginosmay marry [a woman] but may not be married [to a man]. Rabbi Eliezer said: [If one has relations with] an androginos he is liable to be stoned like one [who has relations with] a male.

  7. וַיִּבְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ אֶת־הָֽאָדָם֙ בְּצַלְמ֔וֹ בְּצֶ֥לֶם אֱלֹהִ֖ים בָּרָ֣א אֹת֑וֹ זָכָ֥ר וּנְקֵבָ֖ה בָּרָ֥א אֹתָֽם׃

    So G-d created the human beings in [the divine] image, creating [them] in the image of G-d, creating them male and female.

     

     

     

  8. ... אמר רבי ירמיה בן אלעזר: בשעה שברא הקדוש ברוך הוא את אדם הראשון, אנדרוגינוס בראו, הדא הוא דכתיב: זכר ונקבה בראם...

    R. Yirmiyah ben Elazar said, when Hashem created Adam HaRishon [the first human], he was created [as an] androgynos [אנדרוגינוס]; thus is it written, "male and female did He create them." R. Shmuel bar Nachman said, when Hashem created Adam HaRishon, He created him with two faces, one on each side, and [when He made Chavah,] He split him along the middle, forming two backs. [The other rabbis] challenged him: but it is written, "And He took one of his ribs!" [R. Nachman] said to them: "mitzalotav doesn't mean rib, it means one of his sides..."

  9. יבמות ס״ד א:ל׳-ל״א

    אמר רבי אמי אברהם ושרה טומטמין היו שנאמר (ישעיהו נא, א) הביטו אל צור חוצבתם ואל מקבת בור נוקרתם וכתיב (ישעיהו נא, ב) הביטו אל אברהם אביכם ואל שרה תחוללכם אמר רב נחמן אמר רבה בר אבוה שרה אמנו אילונית היתה שנאמר (בראשית יא, ל) ותהי שרי עקרה אין לה ולד אפי' בית ולד אין לה.

    R. Ammi stated: Abraham and Sarah were originally tumtumin; for it is said, (Isaiah 51:1) "Look unto to the rock 

    whence you were hewn and to the hole of the pit whence you were dug," and this is followed by the text, Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bore you.

     

    R. Nahman stated in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha: Our mother Sarah was an aylonit; for it is said, And Sarai was barren; she had no child, she had not even a womb.

  10. Tzitz Eliezer: Orthodox Responsa from Rabbi Eliezer Waldenberg (1919-2006)

     

    In his large collection of responsa on Jewish law called  Tzitz Eliezer, Rabbi Waldenberg (who served on Israel's supreme rabbinical courts) addressed some specifics regarding transgender people and halachah, the last of which is considered a particularly important and controversial statement.

     

    I also saw in a book called Yosef Et Achiv (by Rav Yossi Plaggi, z”l), (3:5) that asks… if there’s a case of a woman who led a normal life for years and then became a man, does he need a get [divorce document] because when he got married she was a woman, or is there no get because he isn’t a woman? … It seems to me in this question that there is no need for a get because he’s a man and not a woman.

    ***

    And as I said, as for a man like this—who was a woman who changed to a man—when he says morning blessings, he does not say, “who did not make me a woman,” because although he came out of his mother’s womb and into the world as a woman, he should say, “Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, who has changed me into a man.”

     

    ***

    The identity and birthright of a human is not expressed by the separate organ parts of his body—and this will be the most important—but by the spirit and the soul which are within them. The Chatam Sofer got it right when he wrote that the body is not the human; rather the body is a bag made of dust and within that bag is inner wisdom, knowledge, and thoughts, which are the true definitions of personality.

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