I'm translating an essay from French into English, and the author references Avot deRabbi Nathan version B twice. One quote is from chapter 9. The other is cited as being from chapter 42 and specifically coming from the Parma 2785 manuscript.

The quotes are given in French, and I need to translate them into English. But I am having a VERY hard time finding a source text! I've found articles referencing it, but I need to find the actual words of an accepted English translation.

Here are the quotes as given in French:

« Pourquoi la femme sort la tête couverte et l’ homme non ? Cela est comparable à une femme aux actes répréhensibles, ayant honte en public pour les actes qu’elle a commis. Ainsi, Ève a mal agi [au moment du péché originel] et ses filles se couvrent la tête. » (Avot Dérabi Nathan, nossakh II, chapitre 9).

Et dix [malédictions s’abattirent] sur Ève: (...) La huitième qu’elle soit assise chez elle et ne subvienne pas à ses besoins comme un homme. La neuvième. Qu’elle sorte au marché la tête couverte comme un endeuillé. » (Avot Dérabi Natan, nossakh II, selon le manuscrit de Parme 2785, chapitre 42)

In case you can't speak French, the first one is from ch. 9 and starts off saying "why does the woman cover her head when she goes out, and the man does not?"

The second quote comes from the list of the 10 curses of Eve (specifically the 8th and 9th).

Is anyone able to help me find an English source for these quotes?

Thank you!!

  • If it helps, here're the relevant quotes in Hebrew from ch. 9 v. B and ch. 42 v. B. If nothing better pops up, I'm sure people here would be willing to assist with translating.
    – Harel13
    Dec 17, 2020 at 8:19

1 Answer 1


Anthony Saldarini translated Avot D'rabbi Natan B in 1975. Parts of his translation can be viewed on Google Books.

Translation of your first quote (pg. 83):

"Why does woman cover her head and man not cover his head. A parable. To what may this be compared? To a woman who disgraced herself and because she disgraced herself, she is ashamed in the presence of people. In the same way, Eve disgraced herself and caused her daughters to cover their heads."

The second quote isn't available in Saldarini's book through Google Books, but I found it here and here:

"The eighth is that she stays in the house and does not show herself in public like a man.

The ninth is that when she goes out to the marketplace her head has to be covered like a mourner. That is why women precede the bier, saying, 'we have brought death upon all the inhabitants of the world.'"

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