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The Individual And The Family

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Chapter Summary

The total loss of Jewish internal documentation, private and public, and the absence of rabbinical literature, such as responsa, limits our ability to trace some aspects of the internal and private life of Sicilian Jews. The core of Judaeo-Sicilian society was the family (for that matter also elsewhere in mediaeval times). The marriage contracts between the Aseni, Bonavogla and Sacerdoto were typical of the unions entered into by prominent Jewish families of doctors. The Sicilian authorities acquiesced in some Jewish matrimonial laws, customs and practices, some of which were strictly forbidden to Christians. Sicilian Jews married young, often as minors. In most cases, women bore children frequently and as long as they could physically. However, in the Middle Ages, child mortality was heavy, and in most cases children never reached maturity.

Keywords: Aseni; Bonavogla; Christians; Judaeo-Sicilian society; Sacerdoto; Sicilian Jews



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