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Judaism and Motherhood

  • By: Myrna A. Hant
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Judaism's interpretation of motherhood contributes to a specific concept of mothering. The Old Testament in the Bible depicts Jewish matriarchs as representations for good maternal care. Rabbinical commentaries are also used as guidelines for religious practices by mothers, both within the synagogue and the home environment. These standards have been disseminated through the centuries and molded by historical influences of persecution, isolation, exile, and assimilation. Events in the l8th, l9th, and 20th centuries have particularly affected behavior patterns. Popular culture portrayals in the last 75 years have significantly impacted the Jewish mother's self-perception as well as that of society in general. Contemporary sociological changes are mitigating the effects of these influences.

The Bible

In the Old Testament book of Genesis, Eve, the first woman, is created by ...

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