ARIEL TOAFF An Embarrassing Literature: Women’s Ritual Laws in Yiddish and the Vernacular

Frauenbuchlein . With this term Moritz Steinschneider , in the middle of the nineteenth century , designated the ritualistic literature in Yiddish and the vernacular dedicated to Jewish women . This term became very popular , and was adopted by David W . Amram in his classic work on Hebrew printing in Italy , The Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy ( Philadelphia , 1909 ) . The fact that the term is in German is not at all coincidental . This kind of literature , rough and simple , was very far from the language and the arguments of the classic halakhic literature in Hebrew , and was particularly popular among the women of the Ashkenazi communities north of the Alps . The explicit aim of these texts was to educate women , traditionally excluded from the study of rabbinical literature and provided with only very basic notions of Hebrew , to carry out their duties according to Jewish law . The women were supposed to know in depth all the rules regarding them as women , such as those pertaini...  אל הספר
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