Holiness and Transgression: Mothers of the Messiah in the Jewish Myth

Ruth Kara-Ivanov Kaniel, Eugene D Matanky (Translator)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This volume deals with the female dynasty of the House of David and its influence on the Jewish Messianic Myth. It provides a missing link in the chain of research on the topic of messianism and contributes to the understanding of the connection between female transgression and redemption, from the Bible through Rabbinic literature until the Zohar. The discussion of the centrality of the mother image in Judeo-Christian culture and the parallels between the appearance of Mary in the Gospels and the Davidic Mothers in the Hebrew Bible, stresses mutual representations of "the mother of the messiah" in Christian and Jewish imaginaire. Through the prism of gender studies and by stressing questions of femininity, motherhood and sexuality, the subject appears in a new light. This research highlights the importance of intertwining Jewish literary study with comparative religion and gender theories, enabling the process of filling in the 'mythic gaps' in classical Jewish sources. The book won the Pines, Lakritz and Warburg awards.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBoston, MA
PublisherAcademic Studies Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781618115614
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Includes bibliographical references and index.


  • Mothers in the Bible
  • אמהות במקרא
  • Messiah -- Judaism
  • משיח -- יהדות
  • المسيح -- اليهوديّة
  • Jewish mythology
  • מיתולוגיה יהודית
  • Mothers and sons -- Religious aspects -- Judaism
  • אמהות ובנים -- היבטים דתיים -- יהדות


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