Rabbinic Genealogy SIG #Rabbinic Following female lines #rabbinic


Mordechai Perlman
 

I wrote:

<< Another example, Rabbeinu Tam, Rashbam and Rivam are all brothers,
<< sons of Rabbeinu Meir (Rashi's son-in-law).

Karen Roekard wrote:

The part of me that is a genealogist actively involved in searching
out the so-hard-to-find females, mothers and wives, the ones who
risked their lives in perilous times to give birth to babies, the
ones whose names you find so often in death records as having died
so very, very young in childbirth or shortly after, that part of me
is very disturbed that you choose to mention Rashi and then define
his grandsons only by their father, "Rashi's son-in-law".
For the record, the daughter of Rashi who married Rabbeinu Meir was
called Yocheved.
However, my task is to map the transmission of Torah as it was
studied in Ashkenaz. This was done primarily, if not exclusively, by the men
(if you can find a couple of exceptions, it will not affect the rule).
The reason that women are rarely known is for the same reason that
the men are known. The men that are known are only known because of the
effect that their lives had, not on their inner family circle, but on the
community. And to the degree that their effect was felt on succeeding
generations, to that degree their names remained known in the years that
followed. Rashi and his illustrious grandsons made their mark on Torah
learning forever. Hence, they are remembered by all. His son-in-law is only
known to historians and to the few scholars that have come across his name
in the books of his sons. How his daughter's name came to be remembered is
anyone's guess. (The daughter's daughter was named Chanah (she was possibly
the wife of Rabbeinu Yitzchak of Dampierre); her name is known because she
passed away during her brother's lifetime (her brother was Rabbeinu Tam) and
a halachic question arose as to his eating meat before her burial.) His
other three daughters (he only had daughters) also married illustrious Torah
scholars (we even know the names of some of them) but their husbands were
not as famous and so their wives' names are not remembered.
This should be cause for alarm. For one, G-d remembers everyone.
Secondly, the lessons that good and pious Jewish mothers impart to the
generations in which they live is available in every generation.

Thank you,
Mordechai Perlman

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