Sunday, December 13, 2015

Rav Hirsch on Grammar, Gender, and Equality

In the word איש and אשה (man and a female man I.L.) lay the guarantee for the equality in rank and mutually complementing calling of Man and Woman. As long as man and woman were איש and אשה there was no need for man to be emancipated from woman nor woman from man, neither could make the other into a slave nor yet into a god or goddess. The first who altered this designation -­ as indeed our sages remark, in no other language are man and woman designated by words coming from the same root and so regarded from the same trend of thought -­ brought it about that one man would yoke his woman to the plough while the other would throw himself at her feet. (R’ Samson Raphael Hirsch, Genesis 11:58)

Note: I.L. is the editor Isaac Levy

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