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Individual Marriage and Family Marriage

August 7, 2014

Do individuals get married or are families joined? That’s a tension evident in many Yiddish stories, including Sholom Aleichem’s Tevye stories. As Dara Horn explains, Tevye speaks as if he is going to be married because he abides by a traditional, family-joining idea of marriage exemplified by the unique-to-Yiddish word, “machatunum.” Prompted by a participant question, Horn explains the economic and social logic of the family-joining understanding of marriage.


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