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Gallery 4: The Jewish Town, 1648–1772

Explore the spiritual lives of Jewish women as reflected in manuals written for them – and sometimes by them – in YiddishYiddishthe historic Jewish vernacular of Ashkenazi Jews, a fusion of German dialects, Hebrew and Aramaic, and Judeo-Romance and Slavic languages. The beginnings of Yiddish are in the Rhineland in the Middle Ages. About 13 million people spoke Yiddish before the Second World War.. On the table are excerpts from two books. One book, Benjamin Slonik’s Seyder mitsves noshim (Book of Commandments for Women), deals with the three commandments specific to women: lighting the ShabbatShabbat(Yiddish: shabes) – day of rest, from sunset Friday until shortly after sunset Saturday, during which work is prohibited. candles, family purity, and halakhahHalakhahJewish religious law, which governs all aspects of Jewish life, is based on the commandments (mitzvot) in the Torah.. The other book, Tkhine Imohos (Supplication of the Matriarchs), is a prayer written in Aramaic and Yiddish for women by a woman, Leah Horowitz, daughter of a rabbiRabbireligious leader of a Jewish congregation who is qualified to resolve issues on the basis of Halakhah. A rabbi heads the Jewish court (Hebrew: bet din, Yiddish: bezdin), teaches Torah, performs marriages, and certifies that foods conform to the requirements of kashrut.. In the green cabinet is an original 18th-century illustrated Tsene rene, often called the “Women’s Bible.”