The Lives of Judaizing Women after 1492

Renée Levine Melammed

in Heretics or Daughters of Israel?

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780195151671
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849215 | DOI:
The Lives of Judaizing Women after 1492

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This chapter discusses the life of the remaining converso community after the Jewish expulsion from the kingdom. The conversos no longer had the benefit of the living example of their forefathers' Judaism, in addition to losing their sole source of certain supplies, be they food, wine, or books. Crypto-Judaism could not be the same as normative Judaism. The demise of Jewish institutional life in 1492 left the male Jew without the framework upon which he had functioned. Without the synagogue, the house of study, and the communal organizations, he was destined to be at a loss. By contrast, the women had never been dependent upon a center outside of the home, nor were they overly dependent upon books, and when all the other institutions disappeared, they did not have to undergo a major transition. Thus, whereas, the men lost their center of their Jewish life, the women continued, albeit under extenuating circumstances.

Keywords: converso; Judaism; Crypto-Judaism; normative Judaism

Chapter.  7748 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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