Mothers in the Jewish Cultural Imagination
Jewish Cultural Studies, Volume 5
Edited by Marjorie Lehman, Jane L. Kanarek, and Simon J. Bronner
The contributors to this volume highlight the complex network of symbols and images associated with Jewish mothers and motherhood as well as the vast array of social, historical, and cultural patterns that characterizations of mothers reflect. Each essay treats the topic from a specific perspective, spanning from mother--daughter relationships in the Talmud to depictions of mothers in twentieth-century American Jewish children’s literature. Collectively, they present a provocative examination of the ways mothers shape and problematize Jewish identity.
This volume seeks to give the figure of the mother a new and enhanced place at the heart of Judaism: not only as a central figure in family life, but also as a key agent in the transmission of Jewish religion and culture.
Jane L. Kanarek is Associate Professor of Rabbinics and Associate Dean of Academic Development and Advising at Hebrew College.
Marjorie Lehman is Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Simon J. Bronner is Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Folklore and Founding Director of the Center for Holocaust and Jewish Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg. He is also the convener of the Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Section of the American Folklore Society. His books include Folklore: The Basics (2017) and Explaining Traditions: Folk Behavior in Modern Culture (2011).
Note on Transliteration
Introduction: Reimagining Jewish Mothers
Marjorie Lehman, Jane L. Kanarek, and Simon J. Bronner
PART I . IDEALIZED MOTHERS
1 Cooking, Cuddling, and Candle-Lighting: Motherhood in Award-Winning Jewish Children’s Literature
2 The Jewish Mother’s Prayer: Mothers in Late Nineteenth-Century Hungarian Jewish Women’s Prayer Books
3 Nene Mesl-e Na¯n—‘Mother is Like Bread’: The Perception of Motherhood and Folklore Expressions among the Jews of Afghanistan
Tsila Zan-Bar Tsur
4 Mothers and Children in Ottoman Jewish Society as Reflected in Hebrew Sources of the Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries
PART II . CONSTRUCTIONS AND CONTESTATIONS OF MOTHERS
5 Like Mother Like Daughter: Mother–Daughter Relations in Babylonian Talmudic Stories
6 The (Re)production of a Maskilah: The Mother–Daughter Bond between Menuhah and Hava Shapiro
Carole B. Balin and Wendy I. Zierler
7 Maurice Sendak’s Jewish Mother(s)
8 The Jewish Mother as Metonym for Community in Postwar America
PART III . ACTIVIST MOTHERS
9 The ‘Mothers’ Who Were Not: Motherhood Imagery and Childless Women Warriors in Early Jewish Literature
10 Motherhood as Motivation: American Jewish Women in Action, 1890–1940
Melissa R. Klapper
11 ‘Two Voices Heard in Castile’: Rachel and Mary Weep for Their Children in the Age of the Zohar
12 ‘Where Was Sarah?’ Depictions of Mothers and Motherhood in Modern Israeli Poetry on the Binding of Isaac
PART IV . RE-EMBODYING MOTHERS
13 Depictions of Childbirth in Rabbinic Literature: The Innovation of a Genizah Midrashic Text
Shana Strauch Schick
14 Upending the Curse of Eve: A Reframing of Maternal Breastfeeding in BT Ketubot
15 The Biblical Root ’mn: Retrieval of a Term and Its Household Context
PART V . RECASTING MOTHERS
16 Mothers and Ma’asim: Maternal Roles in Medieval Hebrew Tales
17 On Teachers, Rabbinic and Maternal
Mara H. Benjamin
Size: 240 × 160 mm
Publication: August 1, 2017
Series: Jewish Cultural Studies 5