AJS Review (The Journal of the Association for Jewish by Norman A. editor Stillman

By Norman A. editor Stillman

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Zipperstein(London, 1988), pp. 495-525. Still moreparadoxically,we find on the thresholdof modernityone of the most widespreadmovementsof sexualasceticismin Jewishhistory"(p. 21). 45. Biale, "Ejaculatory Prayer,p. 24. 18 JUDITHR. The pietist'sdesirefor separationfromthe corruptionof the material world,and his wish to displacethe pleasuresof humansexualitythroughhis devotion to the divine, is built, in part,upon the objectificationof women. That such spiritualoptions were simply not availableor even imaginedfor Jewishwomen is, perhaps,the otherside of the coin.

Includedamongthe formerwere the leadinglights of the community;whereasthe latterincludedthe hakhanm bashi, of whomthe preacherwas critical(Agassi 1968:181,243). The significantpoint is the overallconceptualizationof classes thatpervadesthe sermon. 38 SHLOMODESHEN thepharmacisthadproposedandconcludesby remarkingthattherewas much moreto be said, but he could not say it for pressureof time. His imagination is firedexclusivelyby its technicalaspect. He was also a kabbalist for whom the talit qatan custom was extremelyimportant,recommending thatit never be takenoff, even at night,and even duringsexualintercourse (Hayim 1977:2).

24 SHLOMODESHEN make a living (Hayim4:23), and of people who were forced to searchfor food amongthe refuse(Hayim3:27b,also Husen 1975:88). 6 CommunityLeadership MesopotamianJewryhad a venerabletraditionof havingbeen governed scions of the royal Davidic family of ancientJudeathat went back at by least as far as the beginningof the commonera. Evenafterthe traditionwas finally lost, in the seventeenthcentury,the Baghdadcommunitycontinued to be dominatedby individualsfrom a small circle of wealthyaristocratic families, one of whom served as the nasi' ("president," pl.

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