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Obj. ID: 35015
Modern Jewish Art
  Aguna (Chained Woman)

© Ruth Schreiber, Photographer: Schreiber, Ruth, 2020

The following text was written by Ruth Schreiber.

An aguna is a woman whose husband refuses to give her a get, which is a document of Jewish divorce. The get must be given willingly by the husband to the wife in order for the divorce to be valid according to Jewish law (halacha). Without a get, the woman may not remarry.

Unfortunately, there are men who deliberately withhold the get. The man and woman no longer live together, their relationship is over, but the man refuses to give a get knowing that this will stymie the woman’s life. There are men who choose to sit in prison rather than to give a get, and many who blackmail the woman. Others wait until her child-bearing years are over and then oblige. This really is an example of evil being a matter of choice; a violence committed against a dependent, helpless woman. There is an enormous amount of material on the topic and plenty of attempts at creative work-arounds, including latterly specific pre-nuptial agreements but the horror lingers.

My art work, hand-built earthenware, painted and glazed, consists of a woman’s neck with a heavy hand-built earthenware chain repeatedly wound around it. This represents the weighty, suffocating burden that an aguna carries the entire time, chained as she is to a cruel, vindictive man.

1 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Aguna (Chained Woman) | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
2015
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Schreiber, Ruth
(Unknown)

Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
32 cm
Length
Width
37 cm
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
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Weight
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Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
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Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
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Group
Group
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Group
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Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Negative/Photo. No.