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Asenath Barazani: Myth and Reality
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Asenath Barazani: Myth and Reality

Prof. Renée Levine Melammed, Schechter Institute, Jerusalem

Asenath Barazani: Myth and Reality

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Asenath Barazani, the 16th Century Rosh Yeshiva From Kurdistan: Myth and Reality


Asenath Barazani was the daughter and only child of an eminent rabbinic scholar and yeshiva head in Kurdistan, Rabbi Shmuel Barzani. Thanks to the mentorship and education provided by her father, she was able to carry on his teachings. She was married to one of his students, R. Jacob Mizrahi, and taught others at the Mosul yeshiva before eventually assuming the leadership of the institution once her father and husband had both passed away. Asenath wrote beautiful and erudite Hebrew letters, poems, commentaries and more. Because of her status, she became, as did her father, a popular and beloved figure in Jewish lore. Stories and legends about her abound. Asenath is still inspiring contemporary artists, playwrights and websites today.


Renée Levine Melammed is a professor of Jewish History at the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem whose fields of research include the lives of conversos and Sephardi and Oriental Jewish women. Among her published books are: Heretics or Daughters of Israel: The Crypto-Jewish Women of Castile (Oxford, 1999); A Question of Identity: Iberian Conversos in Historical Perspective (Oxford, 2004); and An Ode to Salonika: The Ladino Verses of Bouena Sarfatty (Indiana University Press, 2013). Her current project deals with women’s lives as reflected in the Cairo Geniza. She is also the academic editor of the journal Nashim.


Sunday, March 19, 8 pm Israel /7 pm CET /6 pm UK /2 pm EST


Sunday March 19th 26 Adar 08:00 - 09:15


Renée Levine Melammed


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