- "The Wisdom of Women": From Epstein to Agnon
- Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues
- Indiana University Press
- Number 15, Spring 5769/2008
- pp. 30-57
- View Citation
- Additional Information
The exclusion of women from Torah study and the proper role of women in the Jewish family and society are the subject of both the little-known short story "Hakhmot nashim" (1943) by Shmuel Yosef Agnon, and the chapter of the same name in Barukh Halevi Epstein's memoir, Mekor Barukh (1928). In both works women's learning causes discomfort to men and poses a threat to their view of traditional gender roles. This paper demonstrates that Agnon's story dialogues in a nuanced way with Epstein's chapter. In addition, it seems to dialogue with Agnon's role expectations of his own wife, Esther.