The Liberation of Widowhood: From the Private to the Public
In the previous chapters the religious world of the Middle Eastern women has been presented as if it were static; I have argued that "they" reinterpret, that "they" domesticate, that "they" describe religion in interpersonal terms. It is axiomatic to the social scientific study of religion, however, that religious beliefs develop and are expressed within very specific social contexts. In the last two chapters, we will look at the religious lives of these women within two different contexts of change: change in the life cycle and modernization.
The women have very few specific memories of religious practices as children. They remember that "everyone was pious, especially my father." They reminisce about happy celebrations, in which everyone participated with "all their heart, not like today." They remember helping their mothers clean for Passover, and they remember walking to local tombs of saints. Brauer has recorded, for example, that on the second day of Shavuot, women would visit local graves. (The men went on the first day of Shavuot.) Before setting out they would dip in the ritual bath and put on new clothes. This was a joyous occasion with much dancing and singing. The
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Women as Ritual Experts:The Religious Lives of Elderly Jewish Women in Jerusalem. Contributors: Susan Starr Sered - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 103.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.