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"Yentl": Thirsting for Sacred Wisdom

Among Eastern European Jews in the early 1900s, the world of sacred and scholarly learning belonged only to men. In the movie Yentl, a young, unmarried woman named Yentl (Barbara Streisand) has such an insatiable appetite for learning and sacred wisdom that she leaves home, changes her name, masquerades as an older boy, and gets accepted into a Talmudic academy.

In a scene near the beginning of the movie, before she masquerades as a boy, Yentl is in a Jewish outdoor market selecting a book from a book wagon. The bookseller finishes with another customer, then turns to Yentl and says, "You're in the wrong place, ...

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