(JTA)- Even before Nazi racial laws turned her into a wanted person in her native Netherlands, Roosje Glaser had limited patience for rules.
Dear Rabbi Willig,
Italy as a country is nothing if not traditional. Many of its cobblestone streets existed long before the U.S. gave so much as a birth cry and the Italian Jewish community boasts roots that go back to the second century B.C.E. The Renaissance is almost a modern phenomenon in comparison.
Here’s a really short history lesson. In 1880, a 21-year-old Jewish Viennese woman went to Sigmund Freud’s colleague, Dr. Josef Breuer, for help because she felt suicidal. Breuer diagnosed Anna O — whose real name was Bertha Pappenheim — with hysteria, a common label for distressed women in the late 1800s. I suspect that given how many of Freud’s patients labeled as hysterical were actually sexually abused, Pappenheim was victimized as well. But since she didn’t write anything about herself, we only have others’ unreliable accounts to go by. All we know is that Pappenheim was sent away to a sanatorium for several years; after her release, she went on to form the largest organization for Jewish women in Germany. She became the most outspoken Jewish leader against the trafficking of Jewish women who were sold into prostitution in what was known as white slavery, and opened a shelter for former prostitutes and their children. Pappenheim wrote articles, stories, prayers and plays — but nothing about her past.