One Handed Israeli Women
By James Donahue
The ancient books of law found in the Old Testament dolled out some really severe punishments for
certain types of misbehavior. A good example of this can be found in Deuteronomy 25:11-12.
In this brief one-sentence statement, we find a judgment against women who get involved in their husband's
fights with other men. Apparently the women were supposed to stay out of these affairs and leave it up to their men to slug
it out if the argument led to fisticuffs.
The law reads: "If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from
his assailant, and she reached out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity."
It is obvious that women in those days were quite aware that a man is most vulnerable in his testicles.
It has long been a defensive act for women to strike that area of a man's body either with her hand, foot or knee if she is
under assault. Athletes wear protective devices designed to protect that part of the body during rough play. A good blow to
those "private parts" usually leaves a man doubled over in pain for a few moments . . . just enough time for a woman to escape
The author of this Old Testament law may have had just such a defensive act imposed on his own body
because the judgment here far exceeds the offense, if a good grab in the balls during a battle constitutes anything beyond
an act of self-defense, or perhaps the defense of a husband engaged in battle.
We doubt if women in Israel or in other Jewish communities around the world are going around with
one hand cut off these days. This implies that the old law in Deuteronomy is not being obeyed, or at least any woman who dares
to grab a man in his gonads is either not being charged, or she has been invited to do so.
If you do see a Jewish woman with one hand missing, however, it might be best to never ask her about