SAP

Jewish and Israel Studies

Excellence in Scholarship and Learning

 
 

The Plight of Jewish Deserted Wives, 1851–1900

A Social History of East European Agunah

Dr. Haim Sperber is Head of the Multi-Cultural Studies Department at the Western Galilee College. He has published widely on the history of the Jewish family, especially the Agunot phenomenon; Anglo- Jewish Philanthropy; Women and Immigration; and Urbanization and Crime in modern Jewish history.


Agunot (Agunah, sing., meaning ‘anchored’ in Hebrew) is a Jewish term describing women who cannot remarry because their husband has disappeared. According to Jewish law (Halacha) a woman can get out of the marriage only if the husband releases her by granting a divorce writ (Get), if he dies, or if his whereabouts is not known. Women whose husbands cannot be located, and who have not been granted a Get, are considered Agunot.

The Agunah phenomenon was of major concern in East European Jewry and much referred to in Hebrew and Yiddish media and fiction. Most nineteenth-century Agunot cases came from Eastern Europe, where most Jews resided (twentieth-century Agunot were primarily in North America, and will be the subject of a forthcoming book). Seven variations of Agunot have been identified: Deserted wives; women who refused to receive, or were not granted, a Get; widowed women whose brothers-in-law refused to grant them permission to marry someone else (Halitza); women whose husbands’ remains were not found; improperly or incorrectly written Gets; women whose husbands became mentally ill and were not competent to grant a Get; women refused a Get by husbands who had converted to Christianity or Islam.

The book explores the reasons for desertion and the plight of the left-alone wife. Key is the change from a legal issue to a social one, with changing attitudes to philanthropy and public opinion at the fore of explanation. A statistical database of circa 5000 identified Agunot is to be published simultaneously in a separate companion volume (978-1-78976-062-0).


Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78976-061-3
Hardback Price: £65.00/ $79.95
Release Date: June 2021
Page Extent / Format: 256 pp. 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: Yes
   

e-Book



Contents to Follow


Review Quotes to Follow


Books can be ordered by phone or online

Ordering in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australasia, South America and Rest of the World

Gazelle Book Services
Direct sales tel.: +44 (0)1524 528500; email: sales@gazellebookservices.co.uk
Web ordering: www.gazellebookservices.co.uk

Ordering in the United States and Canada
Independent Publishers Group (IPG)
Direct sales tel.: (800) 888-4741
Web ordering: www.ipgbook.com

Bookseller Ordering
Information is provided under the Resources tab

eBook Ordering
e-Book type availability can be sourced via www.ipgbook.com by book title. Kindle availability is via Amazon .com and .co.uk sites.