Jewish women in both pre-1492 Spain and Ashkenaz societies had great role in education and trades of the time. According to Fine (2001), Jewish women seemed active in Spain and Ashkenaz and worked for the economic survival of their families. “Jewish women were active participants in the economic survival of their families; independent businesswomen, including widows who controlled significant resources, traveled alone on business, possessed property, and appeared in court on their own behalf, despite Talmudic regulations to the contrary.” (Fine 429)
In pre-1492 Spain, while the Old Christian tended to view this New Christian as unfaithful to the tenets of the Catholic Church and, thus, an insincere convert, this was not necessarily so. The majority of those Jews who had converted in 1391 obviously did so in order to save their lives and not because they had seen the light. However, there were more than a few who were either convinced that Christianity was on the ascent or that conversion was worthwhile since it could open any of a number of previously closed doors to the Jew such as to the university, the clergy, military orders and the like. Some of these were voluntary converts who joined the ranks of the conversos during the course of the fifteenth century. Clearly, this collection of former Jews was by no means monolithic; yet, for the Old Christian, it was simpler to classify them all as threats to Catholic society. The increasing change in the society was because of the enhanced role of Jewish women in education and trades.
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