Aguilar, Grace.

Published by New York, D. Appleton & Co, 1851
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1st US Edition. With frontispiece portrait of author. Period Binding, 8vo, 336 pages. [Singerman 1171]. The First Comprehensive Study of Jewish Women by a Jew. This work, by Grace Aguilar (1816-47) , published this for her own co-religionists and lamented in the preface that the authors of previous works on the subject "are Christians themselves, and write for the Christian world the characters of the Old Testament are so briefly and imperfectly sketched, compared to those of the New. " Aguilar’s secondary motive in publishing this work was to counter the charge "that the law of Moses sank the Hebrew female to the lowest state of degradation, placed her on a level with slaves or heathens, and denied her all mental and spiritual enjoyment. The word of God at once proves its falsity. " Aguilar believed that the spiritual state of a Jewish community was dependent on the nation in which it existed, and in her survey of the contemporary period she distinguished between the communities of southern and eastern Europe from those in the Protestant north. Only in the latter were the Jews free of persecution and able to reach spiritual heights. The freest community, she observed, was the one in America-"The Hebrew advantages in that land, more numerous even than in England, consist in perfect freedom"-and American Jews had the greatest opportunities to cultivate the Jewish spirit. Aguilar was a prolific nineteenth-century novelist and Jewish historian of Sephardic descent, was known for her works of fiction, but in this 1845 publication she addresses Jewish history from a female perspective. These two volumes consist of a series of biographical essays on Old Testament, Talmudic and modern Jewish women. Aguilar identifies a need for more female biography of scripture, postulating a continuity between the biblical matriarchs and the Jewish women of her generation. Addressing a female readership, Aguilar writes in a didactic and highly evangelical tone characteristic of the period, using her discussion to argue for the emancipation of Jews, particularly Jewish women, who should also have access to all Jewish religious texts Some wear, bit of foxing, Good Condition. (AMR-39-52) XX. Bookseller Inventory # 31565

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Publisher: New York, D. Appleton & Co

Publication Date: 1851

Edition: 1st Edition

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