Past and modern times: Sephardic women from Bosnia in two Judeo-Spanish works
Keywords:Judeo-Spanish literature, Jewish women, Sephardic Jews in Bosnia, tradition and modernity
The author of this article presents and compares two Judeo-Spanish works: a compendium of religious laws dedicated to Sephardic women Sefer Damesec Eli‘ezer: Yore de‘a (Jerusalem, 1884) written in Hebrew script by Rabbi Eli‘ezer Papo (Sarajevo, ? – Jerusalen, 1898), and an essay on the role of women in the Jewish life-cycle La mužer sefardi de Bosna (Sarajevo, 1932) written in Latin script by the Sephardic writer Laura Papo (Sarajevo, 1891-1942). On the one hand, the author points out the characteristics of both works and outlines a preliminary study on the use of the verbal tenses with regard to the didactic purpose which these books have. On the other hand, the author of the article contextualizes the writers in their period, referring to the historical time reflected in their works. The time depicted in their works is partially the same and partially different, which permits us to have a broad picture about Sephardic society in Bosnia from two Judeo-Spanish sources. The emphasis is on the changes experienced in the life of Sephardic women in the transition from the late 19th century traditional society when Bosnia was still part of the Ottoman Empire – represented by Rabbi Eli‘ezer Papo – to early 20th century modern times, when it was already a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a period vividly described and represented by the writer Laura Papo.
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