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By"Adulteration rules

All of this anxiety about identity, political and sexual definition, has been succinctly summarized in that one biblical word: nahal. It means not only fool, but also outcast, someone who has severed himself from society through a moral transgression, someone who has forfeited his place in society by violating taboos that define the social order. As a verb, it means to violate, and it is used especially to indicate sexual violations: the rape of Tamar, the rape of Dinah, the rape in Judges 19, adultery in Jeremiah 23, but it is also used, significantly, to indicate uttering false words, thereby disrupting the order of language. Its Akkadian stem was used to indicate breaking away (as a stone) or tearing away, and that ancient Ald<.adian sense of rupture is still attached to the Hebrew word used for an adulterer in ancient Israel, where sexual violation signals breaking away from, or rupturing, the norm. A variant of nahal means corpse, and in ancient Israel, a corpse represents another rupture, this time not only from the social order, but from the order oflife itself. Death represented the strongest degree of uncleanness, an "irreparable separation from God's life-giving power and from the center of life, the cult" (Roth: 401). And the outcast is not so very far from the corpse, for as a bearer of evil, the one cast out of society has not only no home, but "no name" (Job 30:8). The book ofJob offers a Lear-like description of their pitiful undoing:

course another way ofasking who is an Israelite and who is not, what is Israel and what is not, for the outcasts define Israel's borders. While it is not made an explicit appellation in