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By Norman A. Stillman

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THE "KILLER WIFE" SUPERSTITION IN JEWISH TRADITION 37 cation of how much time elapsed). "Thatis, one does not endangerhis own life (cf. (Rava'sown wife, R. Hisda'sdaughter,had beenwidowedfrom herfirst husband;see B. Bava Batra 12b. oma's strikingto ignorehere. "R. Mordechaitells R. Ashi that Avimiof Hagronia reportedin the name of Rava:28"The well [in her womb]29 is the 27. B. Yevamot62b: "R. Tanbum said in the name of R. ' ... " Note, however, that the name appears with slightly different spellings; see The Babylonian Talmudwith VariantReadings ...

1031), B. Sofa 12b-13a. Cf. B. Sanhedrin 65b end, Shabbat 155a, and Nedarim 32a. 46. See S. Lieberman, Tarbiz6 (1935): 234-235; 27 (1958): 57-60 (translated in Lieberman, Texts and Studies [New York, 1974], pp. ). Cf. M. A. -A Cairo Geniza Study, vol. 1 (Tel-Aviv, 1980), pp. 91-92; idem, "Marriage as an Institu- 44 MORDECHAI A. ) In light of the Bereshit Rabba parallel and the other sources discussed above, serious consideration should be given to the explanation of the IHullin passage found in Sefer Ifasidim.

She disguises herself as a harlot and tricks Judah into having intercourse with her. Later he admits that she was "more in the right than I" (v. 26). This portion of the narrative closes in verse 26 with the remark: "And he was not intimate with her 10. A curious modern parallel to the Tamar story, with the same elements of the levirate and the "killer wife" superstition, can be cited from a report from the Arab village of Artas, south of Bethlehem. There women called qashra are believed to be possessed by an evil spirit which causes the death of their husbands.

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