Re: Were "housekeepers" really "wives"? #galicia

Evertjan. <exxjxw.hannivoort@...>

Eric M. Bloch wrote on 14 jun 2013:

While transcribing 19th-century Lviv death records, we frequently find
women who have died and are identified as the "wirtschafterin"
(housekeeper, economic general partner) of so-and-so.These women carry
the same surname as their "employer."

Since the 19th-century Austrian government did not recognize Jewish
religious marriages, only civil marriages,
I strongly doubt if they do now.

French [Napoleon] and German law only recognize civil marriage.

Overhere [Netherlands] religious marriage of the civil unmarried is
illegal. The synagoge or church ceremony/ritual follows the civil one in
the town hall, on the same day or sometimes [much] later.

I'm wondering if these women
were in fact married to so-and-so via a religious ceremony but without a
civil marriage.Rather than documenting their status as unmarried (and
thus "living in sin")
"living in sin", what a christion notion, nothing to do with civil law or
not having a ketubah [then and there!]. Perhaps only the civil status of
the offspring made a marriage important. The children's Jewish status
being only due to that of the mother.

the government graciously allowed them to be
identified as "housekeepers"
In those times man having a duly married wife often referrred to her as
his "housekeeper".

(apparently there was no such thing as a
"common law" wife as we have in the U.S.).
That depends on the age and time. "common law marriage" is a British, and
even more recently still Scottish notion, only coined because of the
rising of the church wedding becomming civil law. "Your" U.S. notion is
[only] a derivative of that.

Under European continental law the civil marriage was introduced as a
matter of registration.

Can anyone verify that these "housekeepers" were in fact religiously
married to their "employer"?
Of cource not, "I take her as my wife" was as much an economic unity as
anything, in that sense the modern word "employer" did not apply.

Probably some to many of those unions were sealed by a ketubah, the Jewish
marriage beng a contractual, not a ritual happening.


"Anton Rauchenbichler verstarb [=died] am 26. April 1834 [..]. Am selben
Tag heiratete [=married] er noch seine Wirtschafterin [=housewife] und
Lebensgefährtin [=lifecompanion] Marie Holzner, mit der er einen Sohn

Breishies 24:67
[king James translation}
"And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and
she became his wife; and he loved her."

German (Luther 1545) translation
Da führete sie Isaak in die Hütte seiner Mutter Sara und nahm die Rebekka,
und sie ward sein Weib, und gewann sie lieb.

Later English translations say "he married Rebekah and loved her", but
there is no notion of any wedding in ceremonial or legal sense in
Breishies 24:67, methinks.

Evertjan Hannivoort.
The Netherlands.
(Please change the x'es to dots in my emailaddress)
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