In this Book

Indiana University Press
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In this pathbreaking book, Matthias B. Lehmann explores Ottoman Sephardic culture in an era of change through a close study of popularized rabbinic texts written in Ladino, the vernacular language of the Ottoman Jews. This vernacular literature, standing at the crossroads of rabbinic elite and popular cultures and of Hebrew and Ladino discourses, sheds valuable light on the modernization of Sephardic Jewry in the Eastern Mediterranean in the 19th century. By helping to form a Ladino reading public and imparting shape to its values, the authors of this literature negotiated between perpetuating rabbinic tradition and addressing the challenges of modernity. The book offers close readings of works that examine issues such as social inequality, exile and diaspora, gender, secularization, and the clash between scientific and rabbinic knowledge. Ladino Rabbinic Literature and Ottoman Sephardic Culture will be welcomed by scholars of Sephardic as well as European Jewish history, culture, and religion.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. CONTENTS
  2. p. v
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-12
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  1. Part I. Vernacular Musar Literature as a Cultural Factor
  2. p. 13
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  1. 1. Historical Background
  2. pp. 15-30
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  1. 2. Print and the Vernacular: The Emergence of Ladino Reading Culture
  2. pp. 31-48
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  1. Part II. Authors, Translators, Readers
  2. p. 49
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  1. 3. The Translation and Reception of Musar
  2. pp. 51-75
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  1. 4. “Pasar la Hora” or “Meldar”? Forms of Sociability
  2. pp. 76-88
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  1. Part III. Musar Literature and the Social Order
  2. p. 89
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  1. 5. The Construction of the Social Order
  2. pp. 91-102
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  1. 6. Three Social Types: The Wealthy, the Poor, the Learned
  2. pp. 103-120
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  1. 7. The Representation of Gender
  2. pp. 121-134
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  1. Part IV. Exile and History
  2. p. 135
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  1. 8. Understanding Exile, Setting Boundaries
  2. pp. 137-155
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  1. 9. The Impossible Homecoming
  2. pp. 156-172
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  1. 10. Reincarnation and the Discovery of History
  2. pp. 173-183
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  1. Part V. The Challenge of Modernity
  2. p. 185
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  1. 11. Scientific and Rabbinic Knowledge and the Notion of Change
  2. pp. 187-201
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 202-207
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 209-239
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 241-255
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 257-264
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