Thursday, 11 June 2015

The Six Genders in Classical Judaism

More Than Just Male and Female: The Six Genders in Classical Judaism — SOJOURN

This description from Trans Torah/Rabbi Elliot Kukla:

Zachar/זָכָר: This term is derived from the word for a pointy sword and refers to a phallus. It is usually translated as “male” in English.

Nekeivah/נְקֵבָה: This term is derived from the word for a crevice and probably refers to a vaginal opening. It is usually translated as “female” in English.

Androgynos/אַנְדְּרוֹגִינוֹס: A person who has both “male” and “female” sexual characteristics. 149 references in Mishna and Talmud (1st-8th Centuries CE); 350 in classical midrash and Jewish law codes (2nd -16th Centuries CE).

Tumtum/ טֻומְטוּם A person whose sexual characteristics are indeterminate or obscured. 181 references in Mishna and Talmud; 335 in classical midrash and Jewish law codes.

Ay’lonit/איילונית: A person who is identified as “female” at birth but develops “male” characteristics at puberty and is infertile. 80 references in Mishna and Talmud; 40 in classical midrash and Jewish law codes.

Saris/סריס: A person who is identified as “male” at birth but develops “female” characteristics as puberty and/or is lacking a penis. A saris can be “naturally” a saris (saris hamah), or become one through human intervention (saris adam). 156 references in mishna and Talmud; 379 in classical midrash and Jewish law codes.

2 comments:

Nikola Kovacs said...

I was always of the understanding that we had monotheistic Judaism to blame for being marginalised as their instance on one god came with a bundle of rules that outlawed many of the things the Greeks and Egyptians explained as natural variations by way of their mythical tales. However I too have started to think differently following a very good article was published in an Israeli newspaper about a young trans girl named Eli a few weeks ago.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/why-jewish-communities-welcome-7-year-old-transgender-kids/

Paula Goodwin said...

Very interesting, when most can only read translations it is so easy for original meanings to be obscured.