Ishay Rosen-Zvi

Ishay Rosen-Zvi is a professor of Talmud and Ancient Jewish Thought in the Scholion program for Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His Ph.D. work dealt with textual and cultural aspects of Tractate Sotah. His research interests focus on gender and sexual ethics in the Talmud as well as ancient Jewish hermeneutics.

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Required of women who are suspected of committing adultery, sotah is a ritual involving a priest to confirm whether the act occurred or not; a woman who has been unfaithful is made infertile. There are few records of sotah actually taking place, although the ritual is described at length in some post-Biblical literature.

Sotah, Tractate

The Mishnaic Tractate Sotah deals mainly with the trial by ordeal undergone in the Temple by a sotah, a woman whose husband suspected her of adultery. Compared to that described in the Bible, the Mishnaic trial is much harsher and transforms the ritual into a judgement on immoral behavior, not just marital infidelity. Furthermore, the Mishnaic sotah was unusually stringent for its time and is rarely mentioned after the Mishnah.


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Jewish Women's Archive. "Ishay Rosen-Zvi." (Viewed on May 23, 2024) <>.