Houses of Study: A Jewish Woman Among Books
University of Nebraska Press, 2007 - 177 páginas
To learn was to live, and to learn well was to live well. This was the lesson of both cultures of the Modern Orthodox Jewish world in which Ilana Blumberg was educated, with its commitment to traditional Jewish practice and ideas alongside an appreciation for modern, secular wisdom. But when the paths of Jewish tradition and secular wisdom inevitably diverge, applying this lesson can become extraordinarily tricky, especially for a woman. Blumberg’s memoir of negotiating these two worlds is the story of how a Jewish woman’s life was shaped by a passion for learning; it is also a rare look into the life of Modern Orthodoxy, the twentieth-century movement of Judaism that tries to reconcile modernity with tradition. Blumberg traces her own path from a childhood immersed in Hebrew and classical Judaic texts as well as Anglo-American novels and biographies, to a womanhood where the two literatures suddenly represent mutually exclusive possibilities for life. Set in “houses of study,” from a Jewish grammar school and high school to a Jerusalem yeshiva for women to a secular American university, her memoir asks, in an intimate and poignant manner: what happens when the traditional Jewish ideal of learning asserts itself in a body that is female—a body directed by that same tradition toward a life of modesty, early marriage, and motherhood?
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The first one was covered with the brown paper of a supermarket bag ; my mother
told me that before children could keep their own books , school books had
gotten covered that way for protection . Its cover and spine were hidden . I knew it
The marriage in which one covered one ' s hair would be the marriage of quiet ,
private passion , a passion no one else could know but only guess at . The inside
of one ' s home would be the only inside . Every other place , every other man ...
That was what covering your hair was meant to ensure : memory of self , memory
of what is not self . Not covering your hair was ... The fantasy of being the woman
with her head covered posed for me a great dilemma . Even as I could imagine ...
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LibraryThing ReviewCrítica de los usuarios - bostonian71 - LibraryThing
A literate and literary memoir of a woman who grew up trying to reconcile the worlds of Orthodox Judaism and secularism and feminism. Blumberg explains very well the balancing act she didn't even know ... Leer comentario completo