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Paula Gómez Hernández Die Identifikation kryptojüdischer Frauen auf der iberischen Halbinsel und in deren Kolonien mit biblischen Frauengestalten

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The term crypto-Judaism is used to describe the secret maintenance of Jewish practices by people of Jewish origin who have converted publicly to another faith. In the Iberian Peninsula and its colonies this phenomenon resulted from the forced and mass conversions in the 14th and 15th centuries on Iberian soil. Over the past two decades a significant number of studies has demonstrated the central role of women in the preservation and continuation of crypto-Judaism. The absence of traditional Jewish institutions led by men and the unusual importance of the home for the judaizing people clearly contributed to the crucial role of women in the perpetuation of Judaism. Many of them preserved Jewish practices and transmitted Jewish traditions to their children. This shows a great commitment to their religious heritage and a self-perception as a part of the people of Israel. The article corroborates this idea from a new perspective: The identification of some judaizing women with biblical heroines such like Esther and Judith should be taken into account, as they find in these biblical women female role models for their lives and their worldview and they considerate them as reference figures, trough whom they can affirm their activism and their own role in crypto-Judaism. The mention of Jacob’s granddaughter in a Mary Gómez’ prophecy is remarkable; despite being a particular case it can reveal a lot about the thinking of some crypto-Jewish women.

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Paula Gómez Hernández,

wurde 1975 in Salamanca (Spanien) geboren. 1999 absolvierte sie das Studium der deutschen Philologie an der Universität Salamancas. Anschließend studierte sie Judaistik und Neuere deutsche Literatur an der Freien Universität Berlins. Von 2002-2003 war sie Stipendiatin der Freien Universität an der Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Ihre Schwerpunkte sind jüdische Konvertiten auf der iberischen Halbinsel, insbesondere die Rolle der Frauen im Kryptojudaismus, und die deutsch-jüdische Literatur der Kaiserzeit und der Weimarer Republik.

© Paula Gómez Hernández, 2009,, ISSN 1661-3317