Love Me or Drop Dead: A Psycho-Talmudic Inquiry into Calderon’s Choice of her Knesset Talmudic Passage

Somewhere on the road between quirky and bizarre, Ruth Calderon chose a passage from the Talmud to present in her inaugural address as a member of the Knesset in Israel. The passage talks about the consequences to men who fail in their obligation to have sex frequently enough with their wives. See our previous post for the video of the speech and see the transcript of it here.

The immediate context of the passage she chose from Ketubot 62b is this:

Sages ruled: Students may go away to study Torah without the permission [of their wives even for] two or three years. Raba stated: The Rabbis relied on R. Adda b. Ahabah (according to whose statement the Sages permitted students to leave their homes for long periods) and act accordingly at the risk of [losing] their lives (they die before their time as a penalty for the neglect of their wives).


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