Living with the Law: Gender and Community among the Jews of Medieval Egypt

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Thursday, September 21, 2023

12:00 pm


Open to the Public

Dr. Oded Zinger (Hebrew University) explores the legal culture of Jews in medieval Egypt.

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Picture of book cover that reads "Living with the Law"

In this talk, we will explore the legal culture of Jews in medieval Egypt by focusing on records of marital disputes preserved in the Cairo Geniza. How did women fare in these conflicts and what options for self-advocacy were available to them? On the one hand, women faced tremendous pressure to compromise due to their relative lack of autonomy and their limited social networks. On the other hand, they developed interesting strategies to resist such pressures and pursue their own interests, including enlisting the help of male relatives, fleeing from home, and even turning to Muslim courts. From these cases we will also attempt to draw broader conclusions about the legal culture in medieval Egypt and how it differed from that in other Jewish communities.

Dr. Oded Zinger is a senior lecturer in the Department of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research focuses on issues of gender and law among the Jews of the medieval Islamic world. He is the author of Living with the Law: Gender and Community Among the Jews of Medieval Egypt (Penn Press, 2022). 

Co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies and the Queens College Center for Jewish Studies 

University of Pennsylvania Press is pleased to offer a 30% discount with code ZINGER30.