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Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

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Symbolic Clothes Marginality And Otherness Of Jews And New Christians As Reflected By Their Dress In Two Christian Texts, Nadia Zeldes Aug 2007

Symbolic Clothes Marginality And Otherness Of Jews And New Christians As Reflected By Their Dress In Two Christian Texts, Nadia Zeldes

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

Clothes in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period denoted legal status and social standing. Jews (and other minority and marginal groups) were distinguished by clothing regulations, sometimes supplemented by the wearing of a special badge. However, beyond custom and law, there were subtle cues that signaled marginality such as the wearing of certain fabrics and colours etc. In Mediterranean Europe, that is in Italy, Sicily and the Iberian kingdoms, Jews wore more or less the same fashions as the surrounding society though there were restrictions and distinguishing marks imposed by either the ruler and the Church or the ...


The Estates Of A Jewish Merchant And Of A Rabbi In Seventeenth Century Venice, Bernard D. Cooperman, Benjamin Ravid Aug 2007

The Estates Of A Jewish Merchant And Of A Rabbi In Seventeenth Century Venice, Bernard D. Cooperman, Benjamin Ravid

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

As is well known, the Archivio di Stato di Venezia (ASV; Venetian State Archives) is among the largest in Europe, and contains much material dealing with the Jews of Venice. This includes inventories of the estates of Jews compiled for the purposes of implementing the will of the deceased, and very fortunately two inventories of the estates of arguably the two most prominent Jews of the first half of the sixteenth century, representing two completely different types of Jews, both of whom have been the subject of considerable scholarly attention, have been located and published in the original Italian. One ...


An Inventory Of An Inquisitorial Prisoner's Possessions, Miriam Bodian Aug 2007

An Inventory Of An Inquisitorial Prisoner's Possessions, Miriam Bodian

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

The presentation will describe how an inventory of an inquisitorial prisoner's possessions, routinely drawn up at the time of a prisoner's arrest, throws light on the material circumstances and consumption patterns of the prisoner and his/her family, as well as on the material milieu he/she inhabited. The inventory is that of Francisco Maldonado de Silva, a physician in the Viceroyalty of Peru, drawn up at the time of his arrest for judaizing in 1627.

This presentation is for the following text(s):

  • Inventory of the possessions of the licentiate Francisco Maldonado de Silva (1627)

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The Possessions Of Two Italian Jews At The End Of The 16th Century, Flora Cassen Aug 2007

The Possessions Of Two Italian Jews At The End Of The 16th Century, Flora Cassen

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

The brothers Lazaro and Angelo Nantua were moneylenders in Gavi, a town under Genoese dominion, during the second half of the sixteenth century. In 1592, Angelo got into a violent argument with the chancellor of the town. This incident started a series of legal proceedings against the brothers that went on for years. The two documents I choose are (1) an inventory of all their posessions made in 1592 by order of the doge in Genoa (2)a letter written by the local podesta in which he complaints that they do not wear the yellow hat and gives a detailed ...


Jewish Display Silver After The Age Of Exploration, Vivian Mann Aug 2007

Jewish Display Silver After The Age Of Exploration, Vivian Mann

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

Although there is literature on the impact of the discovery of the Americas on the European silver supply and the production works in silver, no one has examined its impact on the commissioning of silver by hevrot, particularly the Hevrah Kaddisha, both for their own use and as donations to the synagogue. This paper will examine in what ways Jewish patronage was similar to those of guilds and Christian confraternities and it what ways they differed.

This presentation is for the following object(s):

  • Beaker of the Burial Society of Worms. Johann Conrad Weiss (active 1699-1751), Jewish Museum in New ...


The Phoenix, The Exodus And The Temple, Limor Mintz-Manor Aug 2007

The Phoenix, The Exodus And The Temple, Limor Mintz-Manor

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

This presentation investigates the symbols of the Sephardic congregation in Amsterdam, mainly the Phoenix and the Pelican that symbolize the resurrection of Jesus in catholic Christianity, alongside the unique exegesis by several congregants of the Exodus narrative. The analysis of the symbols, images and the architecture of the congregation's synagogue, shows that they had played a major role in the construction of the "new" identity of the congregation. By utilizing them the congregation established the "resurrection" narrative of the Sephardic Jewry and its new beginning in Amsterdam. The rich cultural background of these symbols and images, both in the ...


The Image Of The Jewish Wedding In The Works Of Eighteenth Century German Hebraists, Shalom Sabar Aug 2007

The Image Of The Jewish Wedding In The Works Of Eighteenth Century German Hebraists, Shalom Sabar

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

A relatively considerable number of images pertaining to the Jewish wedding survived from medieval to early modern Germany. These are to be found in Hebrew illuminated manuscripts, illustrated books of customs (Minhagim-Bücher), decorated Torah binders (Wimpeln), and selected wedding artifacts. However, the most captivating and curious visual evidence on the various stages and customs of the Jewish wedding in Germany is not found in Jewish sources but in the work of eighteenth century Christian Hebraists. Despite the clear anti-Semitic overtones in their work, the images inserted in their books provide rare and significant insights into Jewish practices, folk beliefs and ...


Jewish Consumption And Material Culture In The Early Modern Period, Emw 2007 Aug 2007

Jewish Consumption And Material Culture In The Early Modern Period, Emw 2007

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

At the 2007 Early Modern Workshop, speakers discussed the representation of Jews and their way of life in art and the use of various types of images and objects by scholars trying to learn about Jewish rituals, customs, and culture: images from Christian sources (Shalom Sabar), beakers (Vivian Mann), cloth and textiles used to make parokhet (Rachel Greenblatt). Can symbols used in synagogues and books tell us much about the values of the Jewish community? What role did ideology play in public representations of the Jewish community (Limor Mintz-Manor)? Scholars discussed the usefulness and pitfalls of using inventory records, focusing ...


Juveniles In Early Modern Jewish-Italian Communities Between Family Control And Kabbalistic Piety, Roni Weinstein Aug 2006

Juveniles In Early Modern Jewish-Italian Communities Between Family Control And Kabbalistic Piety, Roni Weinstein

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

The presentation discusses conceptions of childhood, youth, and marriage in Italian Jewish Culture.

The text reproduced is an excerpt from a mid-seventeenth century work by Pinhas Baruch Monselice.

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The Role Of Marriage And Marital Sexuality In Lurianic Kabbalah, Lawrence Fine Aug 2006

The Role Of Marriage And Marital Sexuality In Lurianic Kabbalah, Lawrence Fine

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

The presentation situates the development of Lurianic Kabbalah in its context of sixteenth-century Safed. Focusing on two texts by Hayyim Vital, Lawrence Fine discusses sexuality and marital relations in Lurianic Kabbalah and among the Kabbalists themselves.

This presentation is for the following text(s):

  • Ta'amei Mitsvot, Parshat Bereshit (Reasons for the Commandments concerning “Be Fruitful and Multiply”) by Hayim Vital (1570s)
  • Sha'ar Kavvanot (The Gate of [Contemplative] Intentions, Concerning Sabbath Eve) by Hayim Vital (1570s)

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The Woodstruck Deed The Documentation Of Accidental Defloration Among The Jews Of Early Modern Italy, David Malkiel Aug 2006

The Woodstruck Deed The Documentation Of Accidental Defloration Among The Jews Of Early Modern Italy, David Malkiel

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

The “woodstruck” (mukat ets) deed, a Hebrew document that officially records the accidental defloration of a young girl, appears in sixteenth-century Italy, in a block of deeds recorded by Jewish notaries in Rome, in a rabbinic responsum and in the record book of the Padua community. Prior to that, there is no record of such an instrument anywhere in Jewish history and literature, despite the fact that the frequency of accidental defloration must have been a constant. Moreover, the registers of the Jewish notaries of sixteenth-century Rome contain over a hundred such deeds for the sixteenth century alone. The appearance ...


Jewish Women And Economic Encounters With Christians, Debra Kaplan Aug 2006

Jewish Women And Economic Encounters With Christians, Debra Kaplan

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

R. Yair Hayyim ben Moses Samson Bacharach (1638-1702) is well-known for his knowledge of halakha and Kabbalah. Over the course of his lifetime, he served as the rabbi in several locations in the Holy Roman Empire. In these two responsa, Bacharach deals with one of the halakhic problems surrounding women’s trade with non-Jews. Such trade inevitably caused women to enter into seclusion (yihud) with non-Jews, especially since according to Jewish law, the presence of the non-Jew’s wife did not alleviate the prohibition of seclusion with a non-Jew.

This presentation is for the following text(s):


How Family Wealth And Power Are Organized, Moshe Rosman Aug 2006

How Family Wealth And Power Are Organized, Moshe Rosman

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

The following is a translation of Todros Kozuchowski's will. Originally written in Polish, then translated into Hebrew, the will was translated into English by Moshe Rosman.


Pinkas Shamash Altona (1766-1767), Elisheva Carlebach Aug 2006

Pinkas Shamash Altona (1766-1767), Elisheva Carlebach

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

Elisheva Carlebach's presentation discusses excerpts from the Pinkas Shamash Altona, providing a glimpse on an aspect of Jewish life that usually remained obscured--illegitimate children born to Jewish domestic servants, and the servants themselves, held very marginal status in the community. One of the pertinent issue was death. If they died the responsibility for buying them was contested between many different parties.

This presentation is for the following text(s):

Click here for a video presentation.


Jewish Marriage In Christian Eyes, Yaacov Deutsch Aug 2006

Jewish Marriage In Christian Eyes, Yaacov Deutsch

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

This presentation deals with a Christian description of early modern Jewish marriage rituals. The text is a translation of a chapter on Jewish marriage from Johannes Buxtorf's "Synagoga Judaica" or "Jewish Synagogue" (1603).

This presentation is for the following text(s):


Emw 2006: Gender, Family, And Social Structures, Emw 2006 Aug 2006

Emw 2006: Gender, Family, And Social Structures, Emw 2006

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

The 2006 Early Modern Workshop on the topic of “Gender, Family, and Social Structures” addressed a spectrum of topics about the transformation of the concept and form of family in general, and of Jewish family in particular in the early modern period.

The workshop took up questions of: marriage rituals, as represented by early modern (Elisheva Baumgarten) and Christians (Jacob Deutsch), and marriage contracts (Ruth Lamdan), responsibilities of the Jewish community to women and out-of-wedlock children (Elisheva Carlebach), challenges to marriage and marital propriety (Debra Kaplan on rabbinic responses to Jewish women’s encounters with Christian men; David Malkiel and ...


Close Quarters Privacy And Jewish House Space In Early Modern Polish Cities, Adam Teller Aug 2005

Close Quarters Privacy And Jewish House Space In Early Modern Polish Cities, Adam Teller

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

The following texts were chosen in order to illustrate the implications of the growth in Jewish population in Poland's larger towns during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when the number of Jews grew faster than the non-Jewish authorities would allow the Jewish quarters to expand. This led to an increasing degree of crowding in the Jewish quarter as a whole as well as in individual houses. To illustrate this, some demographic data on the situation in the Jewish quarter of Poznan may be seen in the presentation.

This presentation is for the following text(s):

  • Cracow Community Ordinance of ...


Question Of The Eruv In Early Modern Europe, David Katz Aug 2005

Question Of The Eruv In Early Modern Europe, David Katz

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

Both the responsum of Rabbi Aboab and that of Hakham Zvi Ashkenazi reflect a feature of pre-modern kehillah life almost never dealt with in scholarly literature, namely, the urban eruv, a physical boundary delineating space in which one is permitted to carry items on Sabbath, erected by the kehillah.

This presentation is for the following text(s), available in the PDF file:

  • Samuel Aboab's Responsum 257
  • Hakham Zvi Ashkenazi's Responsum, She'elot u'Teshuvot Hakham Zvi no. 6 (1699)

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Early Modern Jewries, Emw 2004 Aug 2004

Early Modern Jewries, Emw 2004

Early Modern Workshop: Resources in Jewish History

The 2004 workshop’s goal was to look broadly at the early modern period, and develop a number of themes that might be pursued at subsequent workshops. At the workshop, a number of scholars worked together for three days trying to define the parameters of this chronological period in Jewish history. Participants have covered a broad, if still necessarily limited, range of geographic, thematic, and disciplinary topics, resulting in the first collection of impressive texts on early modern Jewish history. They include privileges granted by monarchs and lords to Jews (privileges granted to Jews of Great Poland in 1453, to ...