Opinionated: The World View of a Jewish Woman

Opinionated: The World View of a Jewish Woman

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Sara Reguer

ISBN: 9781618116475 (hardcover) / 9781618116451 (paper)
Pages: 312 pp. 
Publication Date: August 2017

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A collection of essays which reflects the author’s skills and her ability to communicate and educate on a variety of levels. Her writing is informative and inspiring, passionate and poignant and ranges from the comic to the tragic, all frequently peppered with personal insights and anecdotes. Critical family issues such as childlessness and matriarch are sensitively covered alongside issues of death and burial. Sometimes there are vignettes such as her account of the funeral conducted by her youthful father for a bird he accidentally killed. In sum, this collection provides a sweeping overview of Jewish life and culture as viewed through the eyes of an academic who is also a woman, equally at home in the real world and the ivory tower.

Sara Reguer has been chair of the Department of Judaic Studies at Brooklyn College for over thirty years. During that time she introduced a number of specialized courses including courses on Jewish Women, Jewish economic history, Italian Jews, and Sephardic history. Her latest publications include The Most Tenacious of Minorities: The Jews of Italy (2013, Academic Studies Press) and My Father’s Journey: A Memoir of Lost Lithuanian Jewish Worlds (2015, Academic Studies Press).

Table of Contents


Part I
Farewell Column
The Purim Play
Women’s Suffrage. Part 1
Women’s Suffrage. Part 2
The Spanish Inquisition
Synagogue Decorum
American Jews
A Dress Code
The Entrepreneur
Sacred Music
The Field of Food
Roman Roads
The Traveler
The Blessing of Water
The Power of Poetry
A Question of Art
Explaining Judaic Studies
Tribal Divisions
Kaifeng, China
Saying Good-Bye
Learning Languages
The Armies of Rome
Setting the Calendar
The Game of Chess

Biblical Women
Noah’s Wife
Childless Then and Now
A Husband’s Obligations
A Thread of Clothing
Bilha and Zilpa
Tamar and Judah
A Matriarchal Legacy
Some Thoughts on Miriam
Deborah the Judge
The Roles of Avishag
Some Lessons from Ruth
The Captive Woman

Jewish Women in History
Jewish Women of Turkey
Kiddush HaShem
Gluckel the Working Woman
The Lady Was a Spy
The First Woman Publisher
Ugav Rahel
Stereotypes and Jewish Women. Part 1
Stereotypes and Jewish Women. Part 2
A Modern Zealot
The Realities of Widowhood
Anna of Rome
Women and Synagogue Worship
Second Thoughts on Rahav

Holocaust Studies
The Holocaust Museum
Fifty Years Later
The Annual Conference
A Busy Week
Seventy Years Later

A Woman of Enterprise
Jewish Legal Writings by Women
Biblical Films
Intellectual Stimulation
The Jews of Brooklyn
The Story of Blood
Protecting Women
“Dr. Ruth” 
Visions of Israel
Book Day
Minhagei Lita
Italy and the Holocaust:
A Reappraisal

Part II

Jewish Law and Custom
The Modern Day Aguna 
Love of Parents
The Proselyte
Endless Summer
Local Custom
Ramifications of Kashrut Laws
The Synagogue Service
Social Justice
In Memoriam
A Moving Prayer
Tefillat Ha-Derech 
A Special Relationship
The Eruv
My Brother’s Death
The Glassmakers

Italian Jews
A View from Naples
Ghetto Jews
Jewish Symbols
Synagogue History
Completing a Course
Italian Journal. Part 1
Italian Journal. Part 2
Searching for Signs
Megillat Antiochus
Elul: A Lesson in Tolerance
A Legacy
“Jewish” Food
The Cost of Being Jewish
Intertwining Links
A Personal Chana
In Defense of Vashti
Family Purity
Prenuptial Agreements
Jewish Self-Images
The Dog in Jewish
A Question
of Spirituality
A Personal Comment
The Challenges Ahead
Letter Writing
Public Humiliation
David’s Prayer
Two Concerts
Word Play
Selective Memory
Rites of Passage
Jews of Arabia
Topics for Discussion
A New York Experience
Natan Sharansky
The Task of Translation
Tracing a Career through
Primary Sources
Small Kindness
The Roles of Animals
Professor J. C. Hurewitz
Cruelty to Animals
Hebrew Language
A Dangerous Cult
A National Treasure
At Your Parent’s Knee