by Rachel Furst

Menstruants and Mystics

Absent Medieval Women

Why were there no female Jewish mystics in the Middle Ages? The striking absence of women visionaries in the historical record — rendered even more conspicuous by the prominence of female mystics in both medieval Christianity and medieval Islam — inspired Forsaken: The Menstruant in Medieval Jewish Mysticism (Brandeis University Press, $35.00), by Sharon Faye Koren, a professor of medieval Jewish culture at Hebrew Union College in New York.     

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