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Tiferet Bahurim: A Link In The Civilizing Process

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Chapter Summary

The awareness of Italian Jews concerning the refinement of life patterns and their deep influence on physical behavior and on feelings, meaning the "inside-outside" axis, was clearly evident in works dealing with the education of the young. According to Monselice, the woman is the civilizing and refining element of the family, and no less so of her husband's behavior. The violent element in family life - and its significant softening concerning women - emerges in instructions regarding the absolute prohibition of wife beating, as opposed to the use of violence by the father toward children. Tiferet Bahurim is one of the first accounts attesting to the creation of an intimate, private/personal emotional space within the Jewish intrafamilial circle. The refinement of normative sexuality, which belongs to the family space, fits in with the kabbalistic message concerning the sanctification of family life.

Keywords: civilizing process; Italian Jews; Jewish intrafamilial circle; Tiferet Bahurim



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