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Gluckel And Her Faith Essay

1409 words - 6 pages

Throughout the occurrences of her life, Glückel manages to maintain her deep, distinctive faith in God. Without ever questioning God's orders, she accepts anything that comes her way. The Memoirs of Glückel of Hameln is an inside look at the life of a Jewish woman in the Early Modern Period. The author, Glückel, probably never imagined her journal would survive as long as it has. A vast wealth of information can be discovered from this deeply personal examination of her life. Glückel wrote her life story for her children to detail the many events that occurred in her life. The book exposes an extensive span of experiences from the routine, to the tragic, to the joyful events in Glückel's, and her family's, lives.Although Glückel begins her story saying, "This, my children, will be no book of morals,"1 she almost instantly commences to direct her children on how to live as good and faithful Jews. In this narrative, the Torah is considered the guide for living. Throughout Glückel's experiences, it is notable that each life event revolves around the Torah and the numerous Jewish holidays. Glückel encourages her children to learn the Torah diligently, to follow the letter of the law in all business activities, and to be honest in all matters concerning money as well as with all people "lest the name of Heaven be profaned."2 Glückel not only expects her children to follow these wishes, her actions exemplify the words she writes. In every business dealing Glückel undertakes she characterizes her desire to be righteous to anyone involved. In the later stages of Glückel's life, after the loss of her second husband, Glückel's daughter, Esther, must tend to her needs, as she is no longer able to care for herself. This great respect from her daughter is undoubtedly an effect of Glückel's dedication to her own parents. As Glückel puts it, she is "paid all of the honors in the world" by her daughter and son-in-law.3It is difficult to imagine experiencing so much great tragedy and still accepting everything as God's will. Upon the deaths of Glückel's close family members, she automatically reacts saying that it is what God wants. Glückel's deepest test of faith is witnessed in her lowest moments. With each tragic event in her life, she first acknowledges God's greatness before she allows herself to mourn her loved one. At the moment of her tremendous loss of Chayim, her beloved husband, Glückel first gives honor to her Creator. Her first concern upon the burial of her husband is to secure the necessary ten men for the daily prayers at her house during the mourning period. In addition, Glückel engages scholars to learn the Torah on her husband's behalf4 because she understands that Torah study was not a woman's place. Glückel strives to achieve all that is suitable within her religion while accepting her own unique role.Glückel understands her role as a Jewish...

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