Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 5670
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Tallan , Cheryl.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Medieval Jewish Widows: Their Control of Resources
  • Source: Jewish History 5, 1 (Spring 1991): Pages 63 - 74.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Ashkenazim Households Housework Inheritance Jewish Law Jews Ketubbah Marriage Contracts Money Power Private Income Private Sphere and Public Sphere Property Rabbis Social Change Social History Widows Women in Active Roles Women's Rights Women's Status Wor
  • Geographic Area: France;Germany
  • Century: 11-13
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  • Abstract: The response literature is a valuable source of material for all social history, including women's history. During the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, questions concerning widows came before the rabbis of Ashkenaz. From the answers to these questions and from other sources, such as notarial records and community regulations, the resources available to medieval Jewish widows can be determined. A widow generally had two main sources of assets: money or goods received from her late husband's estate, usually in the form of her "ketubbah," and money received from work. These assets and the widow's head-of-household ststus could afford her a freedom of action greater than was usual for medieval women. During this period, the value of the ketubbah was set at the substantial amount of one hundred pounds silver. Sometimes, however, Jewish widows had to defend their claims against the claims of heirs and creditors. Medieval Jewish sources are rich in information concerning women. Further examination of these sources will lead to a more complete historical understanding of medieval Jewish women.
  • Author's Affiliation: Toronto, Canada
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1991.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 0334701X (print); 15728579 (electronic)
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