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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... starched shirtwaist , her long , modest skirt , her chestnut hair piled up into a “
chignon ” ( but you could imagine it down , flowing over her shoulders as she
brushed it in the morning and evening ) — just as the Library Lady knew
We knew how to conjugate prepositions as well as nouns , even the exceptions .
And those with an ear for the language knew the order in which these words
would appear , could guess before seeing the verse how it might read , though
Even as I could imagine such a marriage , could imagine such a husband and
such a life ( in Israel ) , I knew that I was redeeming bad merchandise . I knew I
should not want to cover my hair ; I knew I should be on the side of the women
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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