The Transformation of Biblical Women: Medieval Jews Reread the Bible
Dr. Elisheva Baumgarten, the Professor Yitzhak Becker Chair in Jewish Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, will present The Transformation of Biblical Women: Medieval Jews Reread the Bible on Tuesday April 24th at 8pm at Young Israel of New Rochelle, 1149 North Avenue New Rochelle, NY. The lecture, sponsored by the Women's Initiative for Jewish Studies, is free and open to women and men.
Medieval Jews living in northern Europe (Ashkenaz) faced changing circumstances as part of their lives. This led to a need to adjust and reinterpret their inherited legal codes. In some cases, canonic texts did not include precedents that were applicable to contemporary circumstances. In these cases, medieval Jews utilized a number of solutions, among them returning to the Bible and seeking precedents within it. This talk will look at a number of examples of these reinterpretations. Dr. Baumgarten wil also argue that medieval Jewish women themselves contributed to some of these new understandings, and, as such, this is a way to learn more about Jewish women's lives. The talk will focus on three female biblical figures: Deborah, Jephthah's daughter and Abigail.
Dr. Elisheva Baumgarten is the Professor Yitzhak Becker Chair in Jewish Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her teaching and research focuses on the social and religious history of Jewish communities in the urban centers of medieval Europe, especially daily contact between Jews and Christians. Dr. Baumgarten holds B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from The Hebrew University. During the 2017-2018 academic year she is the George William Cottrell Jr. member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.