More Than Just Male and Female in Classical Judaism — Six Genders!

A good friend of mine passed along an interesting article looking at the Hebrew language, the Torah–the Classical Hebrew Scriptures from which the Old Testament is based, and the subject of gender.  It turns out, at least through Hebrew translations and an understanding of their words and vocabulary and usage, there are in fact six genders or gender identities identified within Classical Judaism.

More Than Just Male and Female in Classical Judaism

Have a look at the research and make up your own mind on it of course, but as I am reading this and looking at it, it certainly means a lot.  It means our ancestors knew a lot more than we have given them credit for!  It also means that God loves wondrous variety and though he created us male and female according to Genesis– there is still quite a lot of variety within just those two words.  The Classical Hebrews were aware of it at least.

Another article that follows up with this and goes much deeper into the subject of Judaism and gender expression and gender identity is:

Gender Identity in Halakhic Discourse

Why should we assume that every aspect of our being is either black or white, this or that, or only one specific characterization or model of male or female?  Why such enforcement of polarization and extreme contrast?  If we remember the Genesis story, Eve was created from Adam’s rib.  It means a part of Adam shaped Eve, and what makes Eve at least physically who she is, can be found in Adam. Emotionally and psychologically, Adam and Eve were probably more similar in being than we realize before they ate the Fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil… and they may have been struggling with their own sense of self after the Fall of Man.  They went from a paradise where the significances and differences in gender were more fluid to a paradigm where for survival in a post-paradise world the lines were much more clear and the roles much more specific.


About Rachel Conlin McLeod

Transgender activist, Christian at First Baptist Church in Willimantic, Connecticut. B.A. in History and Social Sciences, B.A. in Sociology Freelance writer, tutor, research assistant Loves hockey, ballet, women's gymnastics, and Bible studies.
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