Project Genesis

Jewish History

Literacy at the Time of the Patriarchs

Question: In the time of Abraham did people read and write and if so who? What was the level of education for a poor 15 year old girl?

Answer: Historically very few women were literate before the last 200 years. It is hard to know who was literate during Abraham’s time. It is interesting to note that Jewish women were often literate. The French medieval monk, Peter Abelard (1079-1142), wrote about Jewish education:

“A Jew, however poor, even if he had ten sons, would put them all to letters, not for gain as the Christians do, but for understanding of God’s law. And not only his sons, but his daughters.” (Peter Abelard, Commentary on Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, ch. 6)

Also see:

All the Best,

Rabbi Meir Goldberg,
Maimonides Leaders Fellowship,
Rutgers Jewish Xperience – Meor campus affiliate

No Follow-ups »

No published follow-up questions.

We respond to every follow-up question submitted, but only publish selected ones. In order to be considered for publication, questions must be on-topic, polite, and address ideas rather than personalities.


Powered by WordPress