Marital relations, power, and social standing
in Jewish women in europe in the middle ages
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To examine the battle of the sexes in Jewish society and to follow the male struggle against the power of women in the family unit, this chapter examines three types of women. First type is the woman who attempts to free herself of a husband while retaining what she has achieved and the property she has acquired during the marriage by claiming that he is impotent. Second is the childless widow who attempts to free herself from the extended family of her dead husband. Third type is the woman who finds her husband repulsive and decides to withhold the enjoyment of sexual relations from him or to desist from the work she has undertaken to do for him. The dayanim had a strong desire to help women when they believed there would be some social or communal benefit.


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