A Private Life of a Communal Leader: The Autobiography of Aryeh Leib Feinstein (1821–1903)

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Abstract

This article introduces an unknown autobiography written by Aryeh Leib Feinstein who was a communal official in Brisk (Brześć Litewski). In this detailed memoir, written in 1896 and preserved in manuscript form only, Feinstein describes his life from his childhood in a small village near Brisk up to his adulthood, when he became a wealthy merchant in Brisk and a well-known historian of the local community. This unique egodocument is a subjective interpretation of the profound transformations of Eastern European Jewish culture during the second half of the 19th century. It enables us a better understanding of the complex relationship between the personal and the public spheres during this era and illustrates the need of broadening the setting of the self-fashioning of Jewish individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-134
Number of pages16
JournalZutot
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Brisk
  • Eastern European Jewish history
  • Orthodoxy
  • autobiographies
  • egodocuments

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • Religious studies

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