The articles in this volume focus on the legal, linguistic, historical and literary roles of Jewish women in the Islamic world of the Middle Ages. Drawing heavily on manuscript evidence from the Cairo Genizah, the authors examine the challenges involved in the identification and interpretation of women’s letters from medieval Egypt, the registers of women’s written language, the relations between Jewish women and the Muslim legal system, the conversion of women, visions of women in Hell and gendered readings in the aggadic tradition of Judaism.
Zvi Stampfer, Ph.D. (2005), The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is head of the Research Authority of Orot Israel College, researcher in the Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University and the editor of Ginzei-Qedem: Genizah Research Annual.
Amir Ashur, Ph.D. (2006), Tel Aviv University, is a researcher at Orot Israel College and Tel Aviv University. His major field of study is the Cairo Genizah—the ‘documentary Geniza’, Maimonides and Judaeo-Arabic Bible translations.
Notes on Contributors Editorial Statement Members of the Workshop “Language, Gender and Law in the Judaeo-Islamic Milieu”
1 Genizah Sociolinguistics: the Language of Women Esther-Miriam Wagner
2 The Challenge of Reading Women’s Letters from the Cairo Genizah Renée Levine Melammed
3 Jewish Women in Muslim Legal Venues: Seven Legal Documents from the Cairo Genizah Oded Zinger
4 Captives, Converts, and Concubines: Gendered Aspects of Conversion to Judaism in the Medieval Near East Moshe Yagur
5 No (Jewish) Women in Hell Tali Artman-Partock
6 Portrayals of Biblical Figures in Lost Aggadic Traditions from the Cairo Genizah: Feminist Considerations Moshe Lavee
Index of Sources Index of Names and Subjects Index of Genizah and Other Manuscripts
Those interested in the history or application of Jewish law, particularly as it relates to women in the Middle Ages, and linguists or historians with an interest in gender.