Issues of purity and impurity structure the Karaite woman’s life within a unique hierarchy of power, in which a breast-feeding mother becomes vulnerable in the presence of a menstruating woman. In this article, I examine two descriptions of such encounters, with special attention to the significance of mother’s milk within a discourse of bodily fluids (blood, milk, and urine). I also discuss the representation of the body as divided and reduced to its fluids and the Karaites’ resolution for this drama of the open body.

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