Jewish Cultural Studies, Volume 5
In an effort to disentangle motherhood from idealized notions of the Jewish family, Motherhood in the Jewish Cultural Imagination presents new perspectives on Jewish mothers by examining them in an array of time periods and social, religious, literary and historical contexts. This collection of articles also grants mothers a more prominent analytical place in the narration of Jewishness by exploring the ways that Jews have used motherhood to construct and sustain Jewish culture. Each contribution exposes the complexities of the place that mothers occupy in our understanding of Jewish culture and identity. Utilizing methodologies from literature, folklore, psychology, anthropology, sociology, and religion, the essays in this volume locate mothers, motherhood, and mothering in a societal context organized by gender and show how these images interact with, support, and contest prevailing gender belief systems. The book include examinations of childless women warriors of the Bible; childrearing and custodial care in ancient Israel; analyses of the power of God in relationship to the power of mothers in rabbinic literature; depictions of pregnant mothers; descriptions of rabbinic mothers in mourning; images of motherhood in the Zohar; constructions of mothers in medieval piyut; analyses of medieval stories about mothers; perspectives on biblical mothers in modern Jewish literature; mothers in the Hebrew revival movement; mothers in Jewish women's prayer books; mothers in Jewish children's literature; Ottoman Jewish mothers; Afghani Jewish mothers; mothers in Israeli film; and the impact of mothering on American Jewish women activists.
Not Yet Published