“Outside the Natural Order”: Temerl, the Female Hasid Cover Image

“Outside the Natural Order”: Temerl, the Female Hasid
“Outside the Natural Order”: Temerl, the Female Hasid

Author(s): Tsippi Kauffman
Subject(s): Jewish studies, Jewish Thought and Philosophy, History of Judaism
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: Hasidism; Hasidic story; women; gender; Temerl; Simha Bunem of Przysucha; Josef Per

Summary/Abstract: Women are far more present in Hasidic tales than they are in Hasidic teachings. Temerl Sonnenberg-Bergson, a famous wealthy patron of Poland’s tsadikim, is the heroine of a number of Hasidic tales. She is esteemed for her support of tsadikim, but is looked upon as a woman who deviates from the rigid social order of which she is a part, making her a threat to community norms. This article focuses on the literary figure of Temerl, who, within Hasidic discourse, comes to represent a kind of hermaphrodite: on the one hand, her wealth augments her material, feminine side and intensifies her sexual attraction; on the other, her power and influence construct her as masculine, casting the tsadik whom she supports in a feminine role which he must strive to overcome.

  • Issue Year: 19/2016
  • Issue No: 37
  • Page Range: 87-109
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: English