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Families, Rabbis and EducationEssays on Traditional Jewish Society in Eastern Europe$
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Shaul Stampfer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774853

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774853.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 04 December 2021

Is the Question the Answer? The Context and Consequences of an Educational Pattern

Is the Question the Answer? The Context and Consequences of an Educational Pattern

Chapter:
(p.229) Eleven Is the Question the Answer? The Context and Consequences of an Educational Pattern
Source:
Families, Rabbis and Education
Author(s):

Shaul Stampfer

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781874774853.003.0012

This chapter studies the role of questions in east European Jewish education. The importance attributed to question asking by children and students may appear to be a rather trivial aspect of traditional Jewish education in eastern Europe. However, attitudes to questions shed light on a number of educational and historical issues, and reflect basic cultural styles. The chapter demonstrates this by comparing the strategies used in two communities — that of east European Jewish society and North African Muslim society — in relation to sacred sources. While asking questions was a highly regarded skill in traditional east European Jewish education, writing answers — and writing in general — was of peripheral importance. The respect and import attributed to asking questions was closely connected to one of the more overlooked aspects of Jewish education: the special nature of literacy and schooling in the east European Jewish ḥeder from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.

Keywords:   questions, east European Jewish education, traditional Jewish education, question asking, east European Jewish society, North African Muslim society, sacred sources, writing, literacy, ḥeder

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