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Is it true that in the past women used to live with in laws?
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 2:31 am
Is it true that in the past women used to live with their in laws? Was it like that in Jewish communities as well? How did it work?
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essie14




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 2:36 am
Yes, in many cultures (Sefardic, eastern european) when children got married they lived with the parents. The grandparents were usually still living with the family as well.
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ectomorph




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 2:37 am
Yes, most families in Europe were multi generational. And they lived in spaces we can't imagine today, often separated by nothing but a curtain. Everyone knew if you were nidda or going to mikva, but polite people pretended not to notice.

Consider that kids frequently married in their young teens, with no means of support. Living with family socialized them to responsibility. It also gave them a foundation. As they got older, they took on more responsibility until they were running the home themselves while their parents were old (hopefully).
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amother




Mauve


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 7:08 am
My relatively newlywed DS and DIL are living with me right now!
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Ruchel




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 7:29 am
Generally the boy, sometimes the girl
http://gamzouletova.blogspot.c......html
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bzmommy




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 7:33 am
Yes! My parents live with my fathers mother now .
Back in our country, Russia, many generations lived together, one floor house , each family sharing a room , sleeping on floors. Families were very close.
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amother




Puce


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 8:14 am
In most parts of the world, for most of human history, multi generational households have been the norm. Which side the couple moved in with was part of the negotiations before the wedding, so it wasn't like a set thing like the boy always moves in with the girl's family or vice versa. But it was a given that they would be living with one side or the other. This was true for Jews too. Everyone moving out and setting up their own households is a relatively new and pretty much American/Western European phenomenon. In fact, in most Asian countries, multi generational is still the norm. When you hear all the news stories about the "crisis" of how many American adults are still living with their parents, the fact is, for many Americans (mostly immigrant families) it's not a crisis at all, but considered perfectly normal.
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southernbubby




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 8:26 am
One of the recent Mishpacha magazines had an article about Ethiopian Jews and boys always married girls from other villages to avoid marrying relatives. The girls moved into the husband's house and the MIL became her mother because she would rarely or never see her own mother again.
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oneofakind




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 11:15 am
There was a story, I think it was true, about a couple living with his parents who were unable to conceive. The Rabbi told them to go on a vacation.Sure enough, it worked. The stress of facing her MIL or the conditions in the house was preventing it.
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amother




Wheat


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 11:30 am
oneofakind wrote:
There was a story, I think it was true, about a couple living with his parents who were unable to conceive. The Rabbi told them to go on a vacation.Sure enough, it worked. The stress of facing her MIL or the conditions in the house was preventing it.

Right. If they only had a curtain separating the families how did they have relations.
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Amalia




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 11:49 am
bzmommy wrote:
Yes! My parents live with my fathers mother now .
Back in our country, Russia, many generations lived together, one floor house , each family sharing a room , sleeping on floors. Families were very close.


Welcome to this site!

Which part of Russia are you from?
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BetsyTacy




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 11:50 am
That curtain thing is all over the Little House books. The parents had privacy--a curtain, but in one shanty the foot of their bed touched the foot of one of the girls' beds. Obviously, in Little House they don't discuss things like privacy for adults. Clearly either you pretended not to hear if you woke in the night or it was accepted as a human function. Now my modern mind can't wrap my head around this, but there you go.
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ectomorph




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 11:52 am
amother [ Wheat ] wrote:
Right. If they only had a curtain separating the families how did they have relations.

Um, there is no halacha that u need a wall. They had it quietly under the covers. And everyone pretended not to notice. It was not a huge secret, and neither was it something that a polite person commented on.

They also didn't have restrooms in the house. So everyone knew when you needed to use the bathroom. Sometimes there was a chamber pot you could pee in at night. Just the way it was.
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egam




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 12:11 pm
bzmommy wrote:
Yes! My parents live with my fathers mother now .
Back in our country, Russia, many generations lived together, one floor house , each family sharing a room , sleeping on floors. Families were very close.


That if they had a house. Which was extremely rare. We lived with my grandparents till I was 4 and after I got married my DH moved in to my parents 2 bedroom apartment. With government owning apartments, you couldn’t just rent one. You had to qualify for one based on square footage per person and then wait in line for years. We lived like that till my DC was 3 and a half and at that point were able to rent a studio from someone. We made a separate “room” for our child with china cabinet and curtain. That was the life.
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amother




Lawngreen


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 12:20 pm
And now we know the reason for the halachah that the lights should be off, under the blanket... that was the reality of life back then.
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 4:00 pm
amother [ Lawngreen ] wrote:
And now we know the reason for the halachah that the lights should be off, under the blanket... that was the reality of life back then.


That’s so interesting I didn’t know
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 4:08 pm
Interesting side note about Ethiopians:

I was reading a book written by an Ethiopian Jew, about life in his village, and his Aliyah.

He said that in the villages, the Cohanim were in charge of keeping detailed records of every single birth, and they had genealogies going back for centuries. In addition to making sure that nobody married anyone who was a close relative, they also made sure that Cohenim didn't marry a girl who was not permitted to him.

When the "Cohen gene" was found, it turns out that their records were about 85% accurate on who is a Cohen. Their Torah scrolls were different in only very small, unimportant ways that were down to translation errors. After all that time, it's amazing!
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urban gypsy




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 4:19 pm
amother [ Lawngreen ] wrote:
And now we know the reason for the halachah that the lights should be off, under the blanket... that was the reality of life back then.


That's crazy!!! Makes so much sense!!!! I wonder how many other halachos are like this, made for the reality of life in the past and no longer have any function....
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amother




Olive


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 4:21 pm
For the person who brought up Little House...you will note that the 1 room shanties were temporary only. As soon as possible, Pa would work on accommodations where he and Ma had their own room and the girls would share the attic or whatever.
Not to mention the books deliberately downplayed the harshness of their living conditions in general! Read the book Prairie Fires if you are interested to know what it was really like!
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BetsyTacy




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jul 10 2019, 4:25 pm
I know Little House downplayed the harshness of the living conditions--that's my point. A curtain was not considered a harshness--just a fact of life. Even (gag) when Laura boarded as a teacher with the deranged woman--her couch was separated from these strangers "master bed" by a sheet!
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