Past and modern times: Sephardic women from Bosnia in two Judeo-Spanish works


  • Katja Šmid



Judeo-Spanish literature, Jewish women, Sephardic Jews in Bosnia, tradition and modernity


The author of this article presents and compares two Judeo-Spanish works: a compendium of religious laws dedicated to Sephardic women Sefer Damesec Eli‘ezer: Yore de‘a (Jerusalem, 1884) written in Hebrew script by Rabbi Eli‘ezer Papo (Sarajevo, ? – Jerusalen, 1898), and an essay on the role of women in the Jewish life-cycle La mužer sefardi de Bosna (Sarajevo, 1932) written in Latin script by the Sephardic writer Laura Papo (Sarajevo, 1891-1942). On the one hand, the author points out the characteristics of both works and outlines a preliminary study on the use of the verbal tenses with regard to the didactic purpose which these books have. On the other hand, the author of the article contextualizes the writers in their period, referring to the historical time reflected in their works. The time depicted in their works is partially the same and partially different, which permits us to have a broad picture about Sephardic society in Bosnia from two Judeo-Spanish sources. The emphasis is on the changes experienced in the life of Sephardic women in the transition from the late 19th century traditional society when Bosnia was still part of the Ottoman Empire – represented by Rabbi Eli‘ezer Papo – to early 20th century modern times, when it was already a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a period vividly described and represented by the writer Laura Papo.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Katja Šmid

Katja Šmid obtuvo su doctorado en lingüística por la Universidad de Ljubljana (2010). Actualmente, es doctora contratada en el CCHS–CSIC en Madrid. Su campo de especialización es la literatura rabínica judeoespañola del siglo XIX. Publicaciones recientes: «Los ma‘asiyot de Damésec Eliézer», El Prezente 4 (2010), 123-143; «Las enseñanzas de rabí Eli‘ézer», Ladinar 6 (2012), 9-32;
y «La casa sefardí según el Méšec betí», en H. Pomeroy / C. J. Pountain / E. Romero (eds.), Selected papers from the Fift eenth British Conference on Judeo-Spanish Studies (29-31 July 2008), Department of Iberian and Latin American Studies, Queen Mary University of London, 2012, 261-277.



How to Cite

Šmid, K. (2012). Past and modern times: Sephardic women from Bosnia in two Judeo-Spanish works. Verba Hispanica, 20(2), 355–370.