Devora Ascarelli

Devora Ascarelli

Devorà Ascarelli is unknown to us except for one book. Scholars are now fairly certain that she was the first Jewish woman in history to have a book published. Largely a translation of liturgical Hebrew text into Italian, the book also contained her own poetry, written in Italian. Entitled L’abitacolo Degli Oranti. The book was first published in Venice in 1601 and reprinted 8 years later. The book is more usually known by the name of the first piece it contains, Me’on ha-Sho’alim (The Abode of the Supplicants), a selection from Mikdash Me’at, Il Tempio (The Small Sanctuary), part 2, canto 2, a liturgical poem for Yom Kippur by Moses Rieti of Perugia (1388–1459), which she translated into rhymed Italian.

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