Begun in 1690, this diary of a forty-four-year-old German Jewish widow, mother of fourteen children, tells how she guided the financial and personal destinies of her children, how she engaged in trade, ran her own factory, and promoted the welfare of her large family. Her memoir, a rare account of an ordinary woman, enlightens not just her children, for whom she wrote it, but all posterity about her life and community. Gluckel speaks to us with determination and humor from the seventeenth century. She tells of war, plague, pirates, soldiers, the hysteria of the false messiah Sabbtai Zevi, murder, bankruptcy, wedding feasts, births, deaths, in fact, of all the human events that befell her during her lifetime. She writes in a matter of fact way of the frightening and precarious situation under which the Jews of northern Germany lived. Accepting this situation as given, she boldly and fearlessly promotes her business, her family and her faith. This memoir is a document in the history of women and of life in the seventeenth century. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The diary of a German Jewish widow, begun in 1690 for her children, describes the manner in which she tended her business and family amid war and persecution
Glückel of Hameln’s memoir is widely viewed as one of the earliest major works written by a Jewish woman and has become a classic. Glückel’s aim, she writes at the beginning of her memoir, was to while away the long and melancholy nights that tormented her after her husband’s death, and to inform her 12 children about their family and its history. But her book is not just an account of her life; it is also a fascinating depiction of 17th century Germany and its Jewish community. The Life of Glückel of Hameln is the only English translation of Glückel’s story from the original Yiddish and is widely considered the most accurate and complete translation available. It was out of print for many years until this JPS edition. The volume also includes an introduction by Beth-Zion Abrahams that fills in the background of Glückel’s life and tells how she came to write her memoir. With this reissue, JPS invites a wide audience to read this important record of Jewish, European, and women’s history.
An accessible introduction to the classics of Jewish literature, from the Bible to modern times, by “one of America’s finest literary critics” (Wall Street Journal). Jews have long embraced their identity as “the people of the book.” But outside of the Bible, much of the Jewish literary tradition remains little known to nonspecialist readers. The People and the Books shows how central questions and themes of our history and culture are reflected in the Jewish literary canon: the nature of God, the right way to understand the Bible, the relationship of the Jews to their Promised Land, and the challenges of living as a minority in Diaspora. Adam Kirsch explores eighteen classic texts, including the biblical books of Deuteronomy and Esther, the philosophy of Maimonides, the autobiography of the medieval businesswoman Glückel of Hameln, and the Zionist manifestoes of Theodor Herzl. From the Jews of Roman Egypt to the mystical devotees of Hasidism in Eastern Europe, The People and the Books brings the treasures of Jewish literature to life and offers new ways to think about their enduring power and influence.
A collection of fully-revised and new essays that explore the richness of Jewish women's history.
Houses of Study is an eloquent memoir of a Jewish woman?s life and her efforts to reconcile the traditions of her faith with her belief in women?s equality and the pull of modern American living. Ilana M. Blumberg traces her path from a childhood immersed in Hebrew and classical Judaic texts alongside Anglo-American novels and biographies to a womanhood where the two literatures suddenly represent mutually exclusive possibilities for life. Set in ?houses of study,? from a Jewish grammar school and high school to a Jerusalem yeshiva for women to a secular American university, her intimate and poignant memoir asks what happens when the traditional Jewish ideal of learning asserts itself in a woman directed by that same tradition toward a life of modesty, early marriage, and motherhood. This Bison Books edition is updated with discussion questions.
"The liveliness of Ms. Gregory's translation . . . reminds me anew what a marvelous window these letters offer into the experience of a past world."—Dale Kent, author of The Rise of the Medici
This book offers a substantial reassessment of peasant society and popular culture in early modern Europe. The book is based on a series of episodes from village or small town life of the duchy of Württemberg in southwest Germany from 1580 and 1800, in which state authorities conducted a special investigation into local events. The cases and characters involved include peasants' refusal to celebrate church rituals; a self-proclaimed prophet who encountered an angel in his vineyard; a thirteen-year-old witch; a paranoid pastor; a murder; and the live burial of a village bull. Each case offers vivid insights into the state's attitude towards local communities and individuals, and the latter's conception of the state, as well as internal relations among the villagers. Throuhgout, the important but ambiguous role of the church and of religious ideology in the reformation and transformation of popular culture is made apparent.
From the shtetl to the Holocaust, lost voices from a rich and lively tradition.
In the 17th century, descendants of forcibly baptised Jews (conversos) fled the Iberian Inquisitions to settle in Amsterdam, a city renowned for its commercial ties and religious tolerance. On arrival the conversos lacked clear ethnic or religious identities and had little social organisation. Yet, they formed the nucleus of what became within a generation a strongly cohesive community with a highly structured and well-developed sense of its Jewish identity. Drawing on family and communal records, diaries, memoirs, literary works, and other sources, Miriam Bodian reconstructs the fascinating story of how these Portuguese immigrant--merchants, professionals, and intellectuals, For the most part--reasserted their Judaism, while maintaining their Iberian heritage.
Providing a gripping, first-hand account of the Chmielnicki massacres in 1648-58, in which tens of thousands of Jews perished in Poland and the Ukraine, Rabbi Nathan Hanover describes the events themselves and their effect on European Jewry. Hanover's description of the atrocities commited* by Chmielnicki and his hordes makes it clear that they set the precedent for Hitler's torture chambers. Hanover's account of the events understood in their historical context 'shows how humans can transcend tragedy and rebuild their lives, developing new ways to express their heritage and culture. Professor Helmreich, in his new introduction, describes the- period of relative peace and prosperity for the Jews immediately preceding the massacres. He traces some of the important effects the massacre had on later Jewish history, such as the rise of Messianic and Hasidic movements in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the migration of Jews back toward the west, where they were situated when the Enlightenment swept through Europe.
Featuring works by Cynthia Ozick, Marge Piercy, Francine Klagsburn, and Nessa Rapoport, a collection of essays examines the book of the Old Testament most relevant to women
How has a legal tradition determined by men affected the lives of women? What are the traditional Jewish views of marriage, divorce, sexuality, contraception, abortion? Women and Jewish Law gives contemporary readers access to the central texts of the Jewish religious tradition on issues of special concern to women. Combining a historical overview with a thoughtful feminist critique, this pathbreaking study points the way for “informed change” in the status of women in Jewish life. From the Trade Paperback edition.
An NEA Big Read Selection “This is the best account of the Hmong experience I’ve ever read—powerful, heartbreaking, and unforgettable.”—Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down “A narrative packed with the stuff of life.” —Entertainment Weekly Kao Kalia Yang is the author of The Song Poet and The Latehomecomer, which was a finalist for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award and the Asian American Literary Award, and received the 2009 Minnesota Book Award.
The tragic true story of a love cut short by AIDS, written by National Book Award winner Paul Monette In 1974, Paul Monette met Roger Horwitz, the man with whom he would share more than a decade of his life. In 1986, Roger died of complications from AIDS. Borrowed Time traces this love story from start to tragic finish. At a time when the medical community was just beginning to understand this mysterious and virulent disease, Monette and others like him were coming to terms with unfathomable loss. This personal account of the early days of the AIDS crisis tells the story of love in the face of death. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Borrowed Time was one of the first memoirs to deal candidly with AIDS and is as moving and relevant now as it was more than twenty-five years ago. Written with fierce honesty and heartwarming tenderness, this book is part love story, part testimony, and part requiem. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Paul Monette including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the Paul Monette papers of the UCLA Library Special Collections.
A fascinating look at the lives, culture, and religious and ritual observance of three generations of Iranian Jewish women in the United States.
Autobiographical Jews examines the nature of autobiographical writing by Jews from antiquity to the present, and the ways in which such writings can legitimately be used as sources for Jewish history. Drawing on current literary theory, which questions the very nature of autobiographical writing and its relationship to what we normally designate as the truth, and, to a lesser extent, the new cognitive neurosciences, Michael Stanislawski analyzes a number of crucial and complex autobiographical texts written by Jews through the ages. Stanislawski considers The Life by first-century historian Josephus; compares the early modern autobiographies of Asher of Reichshofen (Book of Memories) and Glikl of Hameln (Memoirs); analyzes the radically different autobiographies of two Russian Jewish writers, the Hebrew Enlightenment author Moshe Leib Lilienblum and the famous Russian poet Osip Mandelstam; and looks at two autobiographies written out of utter despair in the midst and in the wake of World War II, Stefan Zweig�s The World of Yesterday and Sarah Kofman�s Rue Ordener, Rue Labat. These writers� attempts to portray their private and public struggles, anxieties, successes, and failures are expressions of a basic drive for selfhood which is both timeless and time-bound, universal and culturally specific. The challenge is to attempt to unravel the conscious from the unconscious distortions in these texts and to regard them as artifacts of individuals� quests to make sense of their lives, first and foremost for themselves and then, if possible, for their readers.
A personal account by the late research scientist who revolutionized visual geometry with his ideas about fractals traces his early life as member of a Lithuanian Jewish family in early 20th-century Warsaw, his broad education in Europe and America and his long-time affiliation with IBM, Harvard and Yale. 40,000 first printing.
Born in 1771, the daughter of a Jewish merchant, Rahel Varnhagen would come to host one of the most prominent salons of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This book portrays her as a woman who met and corresponded with some of the most celebrated figures of her time.
A passionate and poetic evocation of a man's life.

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