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Exposed and Concealed Sexuality: Virgin Records in the Eighteenth-Century Ashkenazi Protocols of Amsterdam

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Abstract This article analyses the documentation of the accidental loss of virginity in the eighteenth-century Ashkenazi Community records of Amsterdam. By revealing the interplay between theology and Jewish Community life, various aspects, such as the economization and the institutionalization of virginity, come to the fore. Furthermore, the virgin records show that conflicting notions of physical and spiritual virginity were decontextualized and used to serve the community’s purposes. In short, documentation of virginity, although based on a rich rabbinic tradition, gives insight into the readaption and creation of theological concepts to accommodate the social and financial interests of Jewish families, especially the mercantile elites.


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