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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... age , protected from rivals , raised to be strong and brave and to persevere ,
that son had been strapped motionless to an altar by her husband , the man who
had known her body all these years , known it the night Isaac was first thought of .
I was not impatient but willing to wait to arrive . I thought of my mother and how
she always hurried to the wall , never warmed up as I did at the back . I thought of
her urgency to touch the wall , to be there already , to have been standing there .
People thought we knew each other , thought we must have known each other .
Our interests overlapped , we were serious , we were studious , we were
feminists . But I could not speak to her . On the street and in the synagogue I
watched her ...
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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