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Devora Ascarelli

Learned Women in Traditional Jewish Society

The long-standing idea that women are either not fit to be educated or do not need to be educated has deep roots in Jewish history. Beginning with the Hebrew Bible, the primacy of men is a given and women’s status is closely related to their childbearing function. There are, however, some exceptions. Both Deborah and Huldah were prophets and therefore presumably knowledgeable in the law. The matriarchs, although not equal to their husbands, displayed assertive behavior and did not hesitate to manipulate events to fit their own interpretations of God’s will.

Devorà Ascarelli

Although in the writing of history the term “first” must be used with caution, Devorà Ascarelli may have been the first Jewish woman to have had her own book published.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Devora Ascarelli." (Viewed on October 20, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/10974>.

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