Self-sacrifice, national-historical identity and self-denial: The experience of Jewish immigrant women in Jerusalem, 1840-1914

Margalit Shilo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Jewish women's immigration to the ultra-religious community in Jerusalem at the end of the Ottoman period unfolds a unique multi-faceted religious experience, partly experienced by women alone. The break with one's dear close relatives who were left behind, was perceived as a sacrifice to God. The harsh conditions of the burdens of everyday life were considered a value in itself - asceticism. The mandatory way of dress gave women a self denying image. Women, who were exempt from the most sacred religious duties, the study of the holy scriptures and praying with a public quorum, felt as if they were still in exile. They expressed their closeness to God by identifying with the country's historical sites, and by gathering near holy sites. Rachel's Tomb had started to become a special feminine shrine. Immigrant women's experience in the Holy Land was a manifestation of a unique feminine religiosity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-230
Number of pages30
JournalWomen's History Review
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

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