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Marriage

Yemen and the Yishuv

Yemenite women proved to be most stable and resourceful, both in Yemen where tradition reigned, and also after immigration to [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:309]Erez Israel[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary] and New York, facing changes and challenges in turbulent times. They adapted to changing economic, social and communal conditions, acculturated in language skills and organizational life, and were instrumental in bringing up their daughters and sons to successfully integrate into the new worlds.

Tamar: Midrash and Aggadah

The Rabbis spare no criticism of Judah and his sons, pointing out the sins that were responsible for their bitter fate, but they display a different attitude toward Tamar. Although her behavior could be interpreted as an act of sexual licentiousness and wantonness, the midrashim defend Tamar and praise her.

Spain

Written histories of the Jews in Spain have rarely included women. When dealing with Jewish women in Spain, the available sources range from poems, letters, and rabbinic literature to Latinate wills, court records and Inquisition documents.

Sex

The rabbinic discourse of sex has been at one and the same time both empowering and sharply disabling for women. In constraining all women to be wives and mothers, the possibilities for women’s lives have been severely constrained and to a great extent women’s roles have been denigrated as well.

Salome

Salome, King Herod’s sister, took an active role in many events associated with her brother’s reign. Almost all our information about her derives from the writings of Josephus. For this period Josephus relied heavily on the works of Herod’s court historian Nicolaus of Damascus, and our picture of Salome is marred by the latter’s personal feud with her.

Rebekah: Midrash and Aggadah

Rebekah, one of the four Matriarchs, is characterized by the Rabbis as a prophet and a righteous woman.

Rebekah: Bible

Rebekah is one of the most prominent women—in terms of her active role and her control of events—in the Hebrew Bible. The beautifully constructed narratives in Genesis 24–27 describe how she becomes Isaac’s wife, gives birth to twin sons after initial barrenness, and finally obtains the primary place in the lineage for her younger son, Jacob, who is destined to become ancestor of all Israel.

Rachel: Midrash and Aggadah

Rachel is depicted in the Torah as Jacob’s beautiful and beloved wife. The midrash portrays Rachel as a prophetess, and her statements and the names she gave her sons contain allusions to the future. Rachel’s merit continued to aid Israel even many years after her demise.

Rachel: Bible

The younger daughter of Laban and wife of Jacob, Rachel is the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, who become two of the twelve tribes of Israel (Gen 35:24; 46:15–18). Rachel, who died young, becomes an image of tragic womanhood. After the biblical period, “Mother Rachel” continued to be celebrated as a powerful intercessor for the people of Israel.

Naomi: Bible

The Book of Ruth is one of two in the Hebrew Bible that bears a woman’s name (the other is Esther). Ruth depicts the struggles of Naomi and Ruth for survival in a patriarchal environment.

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Marriage." (Viewed on October 31, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/marriage>.

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