A Mystery on the Tombstones: “Women’s Commandments” in Early-Modern Askenazi Culture

Evyatar Marienberg

Abstract


In a cemetery in Alsace, many of the women's tombstones bear the inscription that the deceased kept the so-called "Women's Commandments." The article argues that two reasons may, among other reasons, account for this custom: one is for the sake of the deceased, proclaiming that she has atoned for the sin of Eve, and the other is for the sake of her descendants, affirming that they are not "Bnei ha-Niddah," descendants of a woman who ignored the Jewish laws regarding menstruation.

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