Joseph And Aseneth : An Allegory Of Conversion

1313 WordsFeb 17, 20176 Pages
Joseph and Aseneth is an allegory of conversion to Hebraism, which although it features a woman as the main character, the text demonstrates a society concerns about interfaith relationships. The text is not a contemporary narrative from the Torah because it revolutionizes the common beliefs and encourages new traditions. Joseph and Aseneth adhere to the interpretation of Orthodox Hebraism by portraying a prohibited love story because of religious differences. Joseph seems reluctant to be in contact with a woman from a different religious background even though Aseneth practices chastity and believes in marriage. Their religious disparities seem to be an issue and Aseneth goes to great lengths to gain Joseph’s, heart. This theological text…show more content…
Unlike Aseneth who is pure, wealthy, and beautiful, however, she is characterized as a strange woman because she is not Hebrew. When she first meets Joseph, she falls in love with him. On the other hand, Aseneth does not captivate Joseph’s attention because she worships Egyptian Gods. In her house, Aseneth has a chamber filled with Egyptians Gods, whom she worships. “Within that chamber gods of the Egyptian who were without number were fixed to the walls, ' (even gods) of gold and silver. And Aseneth worshiped them all and feared them and performed sacrifices to them every day” (J/A 2:2). Aseneth has a different religion, and consequently, Joseph is not attracted to her because she can damage his identity in society. Their relationship could challenge Joseph social position. Interfaith relationships are strongly disfavored in Orthodox Hebraism; therefore, Joseph’s father teaches him to avoid women from other religious backgrounds. In contrast, a conventional Hebrew community would allow them to be together if Aseneth renounced her religion and acculturate to Joseph’s beliefs. Many religions criticized interfaith relationships because people are afraid of losing their traditions. Aseneth acknowledges that Joseph will not look at her because of her religious beliefs, so she decides to renounce her religion in order to demonstrate to him that she respects his beliefs. “Aseneth hurried and took all her gods that

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