Title Pious And Rebellious: Jewish Women In Medieval Europe.
Book Condition Hardcover, no dustjacket (as issued). Brand new book.
Edition Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry Series & HBI Series on Jewish Women.
Publisher Brandeis University Press, Waltham / University Press of New England: 2004.
1584653922 / 9781584653929
Seller ID 53124X1
The first complete look at the social status and daily life of medieval Jewish women. This volume, an amazing act of historical recovery and reconstruction, offers a comprehensive examination of Jewish women in Europe during the High Middle Ages (1000-1300). Avraham Grossman covers multiple aspects of women's lives in medieval Jewish society, including the image of woman, the structure of the family unit, age at marriage, position in family and society, her place in economic and religious life, her education, her role in family ceremonies, violence against women, and the position of the divorce and the widow in society. Grossman shows that the High Middle Ages saw a distinct improvement in the status of Jewish women in Europe relative to their status during the Talmudic period and in Muslim countries. If, during the twelfth century, rabbis applauded women as "pious and pure" because of their major role in the martyrdom of the Crusades of 1096, then by the end of the thirteenth century, rabbis complained that women were becoming bold and rebellious. Two main factors fostered this change: first, the transformation of Jewish society from agrarian to "bourgeois," with women performing an increasingly important function in the family economy; and second, the openness toward women in Christian Europe, where women were not subjected to strict limitations based upon conceptions of modesty, as was the case in Muslim countries. The heart of Grossman's book concerns the improvement of Jewish women's lot, and the efforts of secular and religious authorities to impede their new-found status. Bringing together a variety of sources including halakhic literature, biblical and talmudic exegesis, ethical literature and philosophy, love songs, folklore and popular literature, gravestones, and drawings, Grossman's book reconstructs the hitherto unrecorded lives of Jewish women during the Middle Ages. "It was long accepted that Jewish women in medieval times held little power and no leadership roles; there are few manuscripts or print sources describing their lives and no known works written by women, except for a handful of poems. That's why Avraham Grossman's Pious and Rebellious… is so welcome." —Hadassah Magazine "...[S]uch facets of the subject as the Jewish philosophy of women, marriage and family, economic status, culture and education, and role in religious life receive extended development. ... Highly Recommended."—Choice "These studies are thoroughly absorbing in every detail, and give an important voice to women whose voices have become almost completely muted over time, even though in their own age they were heard louder and clearer than ever before."—The Forward Professor Avraham Grossman, the noted Israeli historian of Jewish learning in the Middle Ages, has lately written a book unmatched in its erudition, reliability and composition. A topic many talk about but few have the facts—Jewish women in the Middle Ages-- has found its mentor. The master touched it and it sparkles." —David Weiss Halivni, The L.N. Littauer Professor of Classical Jewish Civilization, Columbia University "This pioneering synthesis addresses an issue standing at the cutting edge of contemporary historiography with sensitivity, respect for evidence, and sovereign mastery of a diverse and daunting corpus of texts." —David Berger, Broeklundian Professor of History, Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York The Table of Contents of this book is as follows: INTRODUCTION • The Historical Background • Sources • The Chronological and Geographical Framework • THE IMAGE OF THE WOMAN: PARTNER OR THE "OTHER"? • The Creation and the Superiority of Man • The Temptation in the Garden of Eden and the Superiority of Man • Characteristics of Woman and the Superiority of Man • Women and Sorcery • The "Medical Inferiority" of Women and the Superiority of Men • The Obligation to Perform Mitzvot and the Superiority of Man • Expressions in Praise of Women and their Perception as "Partner" • Between Image and Reality • AGE AT MARRIAGE • The Talmudic Heritage • The Sitation in Babylonia in the Eighth and Ninth Centuries • The Situation in Non-Jewish Society • The Situation in Jewish Society during the Tenth through Thirteenth Centuries • Factors Causing the Large Number of Childhood Marriages • Results of Early Marriage • ENGAGEMENT, BETROTHAL, AND THE CHOICE OF A MARRIAGE PARTNER • The Ceremonies and their Development • The Ban in Ashkenaz against Cancelling Engagements • Choice of Marriage Partner • Consensual MArriage in Christian Europe • The Institution of Matchmaking and Its Place in Jewish Society • MONOGAMY AND POLYGAMY • The Biblical and Talmudic Heritage • The Situation in Ashkenaz • Polygamy in Spain • The Atmosphere in the Polygamous Family • Levirate Marriage and Bigamy • FEMININE MODESTY AND WOMEN'S ROLE IN SUPPORTING THE FAMILY • The Talmudic Tradition • Modesty in Muslim Society • Modesty in Jewish Society in Muslim Countries • The "Miqveh Rebellion" in Egypt • The Sitation in Jewish Society in Spain • Feminine Modesty and Women's Work in Christian Europe • The Situation in AShkenazic Jewish Society • Changes in the LEgal Status of Women • WOMAN AS WIFE AND MOTHER AND HER ECONOMIC STATUS • The Woman within Her Home • Prostitution and Concubinage • The Woman's Economic Status • WOMEN'S CULTURE AND EDUCATION • The Talmudic Heritage • The Situation in Muslim Society • The Situation in Christian Society • The Stance of the Jewish Sages in the Middle Ages • Learned Women • Education of Women in Jewish Society • Girls' Education and Erudition in Ashkenaz • The Situation in Spain • Education of Jewish Women in Italy and Sicily • THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN RELIGIOUS LIFE AND IN FAMILY CEREMONIES • The Biblical and Talmudic Heritage • The Role of Women in Relgious Life in Christian Europe • The PErformance of Time-Linked Positive Commandments • Women in the Synagogue • Women in the Celebration of Passover • Women Circumcisers • Women as Ritual Slaughterers • Fast Days and Acts of Charity by Women • REfraining from Eating Meat During the Season of Mourning • Women as Bearers of Halakhic Traditions • The Role of Women in Family Ceremonies • WOMEN'S ROLE IN JEWISH MARTYRDOM IN EUROPE IN THE ELEVENTH TO THIRTEENTH CENTURIES • The DEscriptions of Women in Chronicles about the Pogroms • The Historical Reliability of the Descriptions in the Chronicles • The Role of Women in Jewish Martyrdom According to Christian Sources • The "Beauty" and "Purity" of the Women • Kiddush Hashem and the Cultural and Social Status of the Women • The Descrip=tion in the Chronicles and the Public Image • Between the Chronicles of 1096 and Sfer Zekhirah • VIOLENCE TOWARD WOMEN • The Tamuldic Tradition • The Situation in Christian and Muslim Society • The Position of the Babylonian Geonim • The Position of the Spanish Sages • Maimonides' Position • The Situation in France and Italy • The Situation in Germany • Wife Beating for "Education" • Summary: Between Theory and Reality • THE DIVORCÉE AND THE "REBELLIOUS WIFE" • The Biblical and Talmudic Heritage • The Attitude of Medieval Jewish Sages to Divorce • Grounds for Divorce • The Change at the Beginning of the Geonic Period • The Retreat from the Taqqanah of Moredet during the Twelfth Century • The Proliferation of Divorce in Ashkenaz in the Thirteenth Century and Thereafter • "Rebellion" of Women in Christian Society • Divorce in Spain • The Attitude of the Divorce • THE WIDOW AND THE "MURDEROUS WIFE" • The Large Number of Widows • The Biblical and Talmudic Heritage • The Situation in Non-Jewish Society • Life Expectancy in Europe • The Situation in Jewish Society: The Attitude to the Widow's Remarriage • The Commonness of Widowhood and its Social Significance • The Widow's Economic Rights • The "Murderous Wife" (Qatlanit) • SUMMARY: WOMAN'S STATUS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE • The Positive Changes • Negative Changes • The Silencing of Creativity • Between "Pious" and "Rebellious" Women • NOTES • GLOSSARY • BIBLIOGRAPHY • INDEX. CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2005. Avraham Grossman is Professor of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a member of the Israeli National Academy of Sciences, and recipient of the prestigious Israel Prize and Bialik Prize for Jewish Studies. "Avraham Grossman is an erudite and intellectually honest scholar who is helping to draw a true picture of Jewish women's lives."—Jewish Book World
(Key Words: Avraham Grossman, Medieval Jewish Women, Judaica, Middle Ages, Medieval Studies, Women's Studies, Jewish Studies, Jewish Marriage, Engagement, Widows, Betrothal, Divorce).