I once read a story in the Talmud about a woman of ill-repute named Megaddalela, whom a rabbi told a man to marry. I used it for a research project and can no longer find the original source. And I do not speak Hebrew to find it in the original texts. Anyone familiar with the story? And what the original source is? I thought it was Chagigah 5a, but looking again I do not see the story there. Grateful for anyone familiar with the source!

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    Do you remember anything else about the story? I can't find anything with just what you've provided thus far.
    – DonielF
    Jan 8, 2019 at 18:17
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    Are you possibly referring to "Mary Magdalene"? Jan 8, 2019 at 18:18
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    Are you thinking of Hosea's prophecy?
    – user6591
    Jan 8, 2019 at 18:53
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    Welcome to MiYodeya Jennifer. Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Jan 8, 2019 at 21:18
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    There is something in Chagigah 4b (right before your source reference) that mentions a "Miriam megaddela se'ar neshaya," a hairdresser, and a "Miriam megaddela dardekei," a nanny. (The word "megaddela" can derive from roots meaning "braiding (hair)" or "raising (children).") Nothing about marrying, though.
    – Meir
    Jan 10, 2019 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


You are referencing Pesachim 87a which is discussing Gomer bat Divlayim, the wife of Hoshea in Hoshea 1:3.

The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: What shall I do to this Elder who does not know how to defend Israel? I will say to him: Go and take a prostitute and bear for yourself children of prostitution. And after that I will say to him: Send her away from before you. If he is able to send her away, I will also send away the Jewish people. This deliberation provides the background of the opening prophecy in Hosea, as it is stated: “The Lord said to Hosea: Go, take for yourself a wife of prostitution and children of prostitution” (Hosea 1:2). And then it is written: “So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim” (Hosea 1:3), and the Sages interpreted her name homiletically. “Gomer”; Rav said she was so called because everyone would finish [gomerim] having relations with her and satisfy their desires with her.

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    I don’t see a Rabbi being the one to offer the advice, and I don’t see anyone named Megaddalela.
    – DonielF
    Jan 8, 2019 at 22:40
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    @DonielF You did read the question, correct? The OP doesn’t read (or understand) Hebrew (or Aramaic). She read “a story from the Talmud”. She is most likely a Christian woman, who at one time read someone’s translation of something from Talmud that the translator interpreted to be about Mary Magdalene, the whore turned follower (or according to Nag Hamaddi manuscripts closest apostle) of Jesus. That story involved the Rabbi telling the whore to marry the man. It’s all a confusion of the beginning of Hoshea the Prophet, which is, in fact brought in Talmud. Jan 9, 2019 at 2:25
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    1. "The OP doesn't read (or understand) Hebrew (or Aramaic)" != "She is most likely a Christian woman." 2. If you're trying to say that it's a misinterpretation of this Talmud, can you at least provide some evidence, such as an actual translation of this Talmud which is more similar to the story cited in the OP? Otherwise it seems that you're just quoting a story that's kinda maybe sorta like the one in question if you squint hard enough. You make a bold claim with "It's all a confusion" and "You are referencing," both definitive statements with not much backing them up.
    – DonielF
    Jan 9, 2019 at 2:31
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – DonielF
    Jan 9, 2019 at 2:35

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