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European dating in the 1500 s

Thus women should go out in public as little as necessary.

The perennial controversy over rules intended to limit the activities of women peddlers and requiring that they be chaperoned can be seen either as a dispute over the requirements of proper modesty or attempts to restrict women from competing on male economic turf, or both.

Scholars long maintained that the dearth of source material containing information on women prevented incorporating them into the historical narrative about the Jews in Poland (or, as it was officially called in this period, The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, as a result of the federation in 1569 between Poland—including most of today’s Ukraine—and what was then Lithuania—including also today’s Belarus, Latvia and part of Estonia). There are several main classes of sources which are rich in material pertaining to women.

The first is Yiddish books, whose readers were largely female and which illustrate what Jewish women read and the societal expectations of them that the authors (mostly male members of the rabbinic elite) represented.

Female education was based on what was considered pious ) of popular Yiddish books such as the ones mentioned above.

A large, though indeterminate, proportion of women remained illiterate, however, throughout their lives.

The third type of source that can relate to women consists of traditional rabbinic literature and classic literary historical sources, such as the (c. By concentrating on the background of these works, rather than the foreground that was intended to be the focus of attention, readers can often learn details about women’s dress, occupations, courtship and marriage customs, child-rearing practices, status in the family and the community, housekeeping matters, education, religious practice, etc.

In theory, Polish-Jewish society was highly genderized, with each gender occupying its particular social and cultural sphere.

The primary objective of male elementary education was to enable the individual to participate in public expressions of Jewishness: the synagogue service and Torah reading, sermons and study groups.

Prayer by a male was performed in public in the synagogue, according to a fixed liturgy.

Other Polish sources likely to contain information about women are law court protocols, correspondence between nobles, petitions submitted by Jews to Polish authorities, loan records, tax records and property inventories.

An important type of Jewish source where women appear frequently as the subject of legislation or as actors in the public sphere are communal minute books () which, written primarily in Hebrew, typically record the legislative enactments, real estate transactions, election results, budget and other business of each community.

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