Vehi She'amda appears in medieval manuscripts and in the Siddur of Rav Sa'adia Gaon (882-942). Sorry I can't pin down the exact date of the first uses.
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Take a look at Jewish Social Studies (23.3): "Sanctuary for the Specialist: Gender and the Reconceptualization of the American Orthodox Rabbinate" by Adam Ferziger.
How do hala, niddah and hadlakat ha-ner as women's mitzvot have to do with shabbat, kashrut and nida?
Following up on Dr. Yisrael Medad's post, please see:
Check out Peter Eisenstadt's history of Temple B'rith Kodesh, or better yet, get in touch with him directly. He knows an enormous amount of Rochester Jewish history.
Speaking as a primary source, my family moved to Rochester in 1976, when I was 12. We joined Beth Shalom, one of the bombed synagogues. I remember someone pointing out the signs the synagogue wall had been repaired, but I don't remember any discussions of the bombings representing anything other than mafia mishegas. I'd be happy to arrange in interview with my father, who would remember how the Jewish community presented itself at the time.
Ben Yehuda Press
Regarding "insanity and gender" in modern Jewish fiction:
See the character of Miriam Devorah in S.Y. Agnon's "The Hazzanim" in "A City in Its Fullness," ed. Mintz and Saks (Toby Press), pp 78-97 (in Hebrew in his "Ir uMeloah"). See also the articles by Mintz, Arbell, and Katzman:
and the chapter by Alan Mintz in his "Ancestral Tales" (SUP).
Director of Research, Agnon House
I would recommend looking at:
Janet Hadda, Passionate Women, Passive Men: Suicide in Yiddish Literature (SUNY Press, 1988), who brought to the topic her expertise both in Yiddish literature and psychoanalysis.
Does anyone have sources for the origin / date of the Vehi She'amdah section?
Thanks in advance.
Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
New York University