Hameln, Or Glikl Bas Judah Leib

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Gluckel of Hameln, or Glikl bas Judah Leib, was a German Jewish woman born to a prominent trader and merchant, and a skilled business woman. Women in the seventeenth century worked voluntarily to help provide for their own families. Many German Jewish woman were expected to work and remain active, often with many different occupations throughout their life. Gluckel was vowed to Chayim Hameln at the age of twelve by her parents, and was married at the age of 14; somewhat uncommon with women in Northern Europe but not unheard of with moderately successful Jewish families. Gluckel assisted Chayim in his business ventures and often became a key figure in the operation. From an early age Gluckel was competent and determined; her potential…show more content…
Early modern European society relied heavily on relatively strict gender roles. Although work that men and women performed regarding early modern European economy was relatively the same, these two genders were affected by different factors. While men were usually only affected by factors such as age, class, and skill, women were affected by several more such as marriage, widowhood, and motherhood (Wiesner-Hanks, 2008). Marriage during these times were usually for business and status, as opposed to a true human connection. When a young person is vowed to another for marriage, they are also set up with a dowry, or credit to help support their married-life, and occupation. Marrying another individual could even be considered a strategic economic approach to accumulating status and privilege. While both men and women are set up with a dowry, it is almost always the bride that must move from her own household to that of the groom’s or groom’s parents. Gluckel herself was vowed by her parents at the age of twelve, and married off nearly two years later. Because of such an early commitment, Gluckel had a very short, practically nonexistent childhood. She doesn’t write much about her own personal experiences during childhood, but more about her immediate, and extended family members’ escapades. Come to think of it, it is possible that
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