whose Persian name means Hisdas daughter, is one
of the most frequently mentioned women in the Talmud.
Her story, set in the household of the 3rd century Babylonian
sage, unfolds as this sacred Jewish text is being created
by her father, his colleagues, and their students. Her
world is full of conflict. Rome, fast becoming a Christian
empire, battles Zoroastrian Persia for dominance.
the same time, a small group of beleaguered rabbis try
to establish new Jewish traditions after Jerusalems
Holy Temple is destroyed. Against this backdrop Hisdadukh
embarks on the tortuous path to become an enchantress
in the very land where the word 'magic' originated, where
some women draw on the occult to protect and heal, while
others employ sorcery to injure and to gain power for
the conflict that affects her most arises when, as a child,
her father brings his two best students before her and asks
whom she wants to marry. To everyones surprise, she
replies, Both of them, after which the younger
student says hell be the last.
she marries the older youth, although it is apparent that
his rival has not lost interest in her. But Hisdadukh
is to suffer the greatest losses a woman can experience,
and to find solace, flees to Eretz Israel. There she will
face an evil sorceress who intends to destroy her, an
old suitor she despises, and a mosaic artisan who offers
her happiness at the cost of repudiating everything her
family values most.