Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 5634
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Grossman , Avraham.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Medieval Rabbinic Views on Wife-Beating, 800-1300
  • Source: Jewish History 5, 1 (Spring 1991): Pages 53 - 62.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Ashkenazim Divorce Households Husbands Jewish Law Jews Marriage Rabbis Social Change Social History Social Roles Violence Wife Abuse Wives Women's Rights Women's Status
  • Geographic Area: General
  • Century: 9-14
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations:
  • Table:
  • Abstract: Wife-beating reflects the attitude of society toward women. During the Middle Ages the status of Jewish women was not uniform. Medieval Jewish Sages addressed the issue mainly from the point of view of permissibility and punishment. The analysis of rabbinic views on the subject shows that their attitude changed from place to place and over time. In Muslim countries Jewish sages forgave occasional wife-beating, but regarded frequent beating more seriously. In Christian Europe there existed a clear difference between northern French and German sages, the latter dealing severely with wife-beaters. It is suggested that the economic role of the Jewish woman and the tradition of the Ashkenazi Hasidim influenced the judgment of the German rabbis.
  • Author's Affiliation: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1991.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 0334701X (print); 15728579 (electronic)
  • Material/Technique :
  • Rights: