The newest episode of The Jewish Drinking Show is now out on an intriguing Talmudic incident involving a widow demanding wine in court.
Featuring first-time guest, Noam Sachs Zion, we discuss an incident involving Abayye’s widow, Rava, and Rava’s wife, about which he wrote in Wine, Women and the War of the Sexes, which is part of his nine-volume series, Talmudic Tales of Marital Discord. He is also the author of Sanctified Sex: The Two-Thousand-Year Jewish Debate on Marital Intimacy, which was published just several months ago.
While the Talmudic text can be found below, the episode is available on podcasting platforms and on YouTube:
חוּמָא דְּבֵיתְהוּ דְּאַבָּיֵי אֲתַאי לְקַמֵּיהּ דְּרָבָא אֲמַרָה לֵיהּ פְּסוֹק לִי מְזוֹנֵי פְּסַק לַהּ פְּסוֹק לִי חַמְרָא אֲמַר לֵיהּ יָדַעְנָא בֵּיהּ בְּנַחְמָנִי דְּלָא הֲוָה שָׁתֵי חַמְרָא אֲמַרָה לֵיהּ חַיֵּי דְּמָר דַּהֲוָה מַשְׁקֵי לִי בְּשׁוּפְרָזֵי כִּי הַאי בַּהֲדֵי דְּקָא
מַחְוְיָא לֵיהּ אִיגַּלִּי דְּרָעַאּ נְפַל נְהוֹרָא בְּבֵי דִינָא
קָם רָבָא עָל לְבֵיתֵיהּ תַּבְעַהּ לְבַת רַב חִסְדָּא אֲמַרָה לֵיהּ בַּת רַב חִסְדָּא מַאן הֲוַי הָאִידָּנָא בְּבֵי דִּינָא אֲמַר לַהּ חוּמָא דְּבֵיתְהוּ דְּאַבָּיֵי נָפְקָא אַבָּתְרַהּ מָחֲתָא לָהּ בְּקוּלְפֵי דְשִׁידָּא עַד דְּאַפְּקַהּ לַהּ מִכּוּלֵּי מָחוֹזָא אָמְרָה לַהּ קְטַלְתְּ לִיךְ תְּלָתָא וְאָתֵת לְמִיקְטַל אַחֲרִינָא
Abaye’s wife, Ḥoma, came before Rava after Abaye died, as Rava was the local judge. She said to him: “Apportion sustenance for me.”
Rava apportioned sustenance for her.
She subsequently said to him: “Apportion wine for me.”
He said to her: “I know that Naḥmani, i.e., Abaye, did not drink wine.”
She said to him: “By the Master’s life, he would give me wine to drink in cups [shufrazei] as large as this.” While she was showing him, her arm became uncovered, a light had shined in the courtroom.
Rava arose, went home, and requested intercourse from his wife, the daughter of Rav Ḥisda. The daughter of Rav Ḥisda said to him: “Who was just now in the courtroom?”
He said to her: “Ḥoma, Abaye’s wife.”
She went after her and struck her with the lock of a chest [kulpei deshida] until she drove her out of the entire city of Meḥoza, saying to her: “You have already killed three men, as Abaye was your third husband, and now you come to kill another?”