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Pious and Rebellious: Jewish Women in Medieval Europe (Tauber Institute Series for the Study of European Jewry & HBI Series on Jewish Women)

Pious and Rebellious: Jewish Women in Medieval Europe (Tauber Institute Series for the Study of European Jewry & HBI Series on Jewish Women) [Kindle Edition]

Avraham Grossman

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Product Description


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 divorcee 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. 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 unrecorded lives of Jewish women during the Middle Ages.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1762 KB
  • Print Length: 351 pages
  • Publisher: Brandeis University Press (21 Aug 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008XHV9A2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Medieval Jewish Woman 18 Dec 2005
By Shalom Freedman - Published on
This work is a scholarly study of the life and world of the Jewish woman in medieval Europe during the High Middle Ages, 1000 -1300 C. E. It considers the Biblical and Talmudic influence, thee influence of the surroundings i.e. the Gentile society, and the influence of economic status on the life of the medieval Jewish woman. One important development during this time was an increasing economic role for the woman. There too was to a degree an increase in equality for the woman, this especially when the European societies are measured against the Muslim ones.

This work provides important historical and sociological insight not only into the changing reality of the Jewish woman during this time, but regarding the whole process of transformation of the society towards the Modern world.

The work is ably translated by one of the finest presently working Hebrew- English translators of Jewish religious literature, Rabbi Jonathan Chipman.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book 14 Jan 2013
By Jonathan A. Epstein - Published on
The author presents painstakingly detailed research about the lives of Jewish (and non-Jewish) women in an important phase of history. Amazingly, he manages to lift up the problem that we don't know nearly enough about this half of society, and at the same time reveal new perspectives on what we can understand from what is available.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great research! 7 Jan 2013
By PaleSkin Northerner - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very good book about Jews in Medieval Europe. The author did a wonderful research! It does contradict somewhat to the traditional rabbinic view.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent nonfiction about medieval Jewish women 15 April 2007
By Maggie Anton - Published on
What a great title: pious and rebellious is exactly how medieval Jewish women should be described. I recommend this scholarly work for all those who read my historical novels, Rashi's Daughters, Book 1: Joheved and Rashi's Daughters, Book II: Miriam, and wanted to know more about this amazing time period - when Jewish women had status far above what modern folks imagine. Here also is a great bibliography. My main complaint is that they cut some of info that was in the Hebrew version.
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