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Glory and AgonyIsaac's Sacrifice and National Narrative$
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Yael Feldman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804759021

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804759021.001.0001

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Virgin Martyrs, Then and Now

Virgin Martyrs, Then and Now

A Tale of “Dream and Darkness,” 1966

(p.183) Four Virgin Martyrs, Then and Now
Glory and Agony
Stanford University Press

This chapter discusses how the intertestamental Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum, or The Book of Biblical Antiquities, better known as Pseudo-Philo, influenced the young Amos Oz, Israel's most canonical author. It argues that the marginality, or perhaps liminality, of the text enabled him to re-envision and intertwine the two troubling sacrificial narratives of the Hebraic (and Jewish, and Zionist) canons: the aborted sacrifice of Isaac and the enacted sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter. By weaving these two sacrificial stories together Oz clearly breached the Hebraic mainstream, and, by doing so in 1966, also anticipated both the feminist critique of the Jephthah story and the Israeli psycho-political assault on the aqedah, commonly traced to the 1967–1973 wars. Most importantly, the particular amalgam he created was facilitated by one of Pseudo-Philo's celebrated narrative extravagancies: its magnification of the role of Jephthah's daughter, who is named here for the first time, and who daringly identifies herself with the sacrificed (rather than bound) Isaac.

Keywords:   Biblical Antiquities, Pseudo-Philo, Isaac, sacrifice, Jephthah's daughter, aqedah

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