Shifting perspectives on a Jewish gender transgressor
Eydl of Brody was a nineteenth-century woman who took on the normally male role of a Hasidic Rebbe, perhaps with tragic consequences. She has left contradictory and troubling traces in history. This article presents the available data about Eydl, brings all known primary sources about her together for the first time, and gives the fullest available English translation of these sources. The theme of gender transgression is traced through the various texts, and previous scholarship focused on this theme is critiqued, the author's own work included. An understanding of Eydl as a transgendered person turns out to be both illuminating and limiting.
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