ט' באייר תש"ע
In follow up to my previous post - Jump, The Ibbur And The Witch's Secret Tool - Pandora gave us her preferred interpretation of JT Kiddushin 4 (66c) and her prefered paraphrase of the word "best":
May I add that the full quote is in JT Kiddushin 4 (66c): "R. Simeon bar Yohai learned: "The best of heathens - kill him; the best of snakes - smash its skull; the best of women - is filled with witchcraft; praised be he who fulfills the will of the Place" (i.e., of God, who is omnipresent, or in every place at the same time).
The term "best" refers more to the "majority" of women, not that they were THE BEST! So, Shimeon bar Yochai was not necessarily singing the praises of women in this context.
Interestingly, we see that even using Pandora's own interpretation and paraphrase (which differs from my own), that the Talmud is completely and tellingly unable to "kill" or "smash" the "best of women" who is filled with witchcraft. Unlike with heathens and snakes, all the Talmud is able to utter in response to such a witchy woman is to sing the praises of the Divine. Consequently, we can see that, even using Pandora's interpretation and paraphrase, the Talmud is utterly bewitched! Contrary to Pandora's understanding, Shimeon bar Yochai is indeed singing the praises of witchy women!