The Rabbi Who Wrote a Feminist Manifesto in 1899

Mózes Salamon, rabbi of a small Hungarian community, decided he could not remain silent in the face of Judaism’s injustices to women

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Julia Schwartzmann
Julia Schwartzmann

“The Path of Mózes: A Scholarly Essay on the Case of Women in Religious Faith” is one of those unlucky works that get buried alive. It was published in Vienna in 1899, in Hebrew, and instantly vanished. There were no few reasons for this: The title was too long, the author was unknown, the writing was tiresome, no one did PR for the book and there seemed to be no reason to read it. Except for one reason, perhaps: It’s a subversive text that said things no one had previously dared to say. Seventy years would pass before its subject would become a perfectly natural, almost trivial, focal point of discourse.

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