“The architectural history of the sukkah awaits full exposition. The present article focuses on the earliest images of sukkot in medieval Hebrew manuscripts from Europe, which I set within the context of rabbinic tradition up to that time…
The sukkah’s distinctive characteristics are clearly evident in images found in liturgical manuscript codices (mahzorim, plural of mahzor, the Hebrew word for “cycles” – prayer books with the special liturgy for the festivals) from the thirteenth through the fifteenth centuries. These illuminated manuscripts include legal guidance for the construction of the sukkah and special piyyutim, liturgical poems, written for the holiday, as well as illustrations decorating the texts.”
Shulamit Laderman, “The Sukkah as Sacred Architecture” in Jewish Religious Architecture: From Biblical Israel to Modern Judaism, ed. Steven Fine (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2019), 352–368. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004370098_021
For the Five Minute Medievalist podcast, Dr Adrienne Williams Boyarin talks on the topic of ‘Christians and Jews in 13th-century England’. Her book, ‘The Christian Jew and the Unmarked Jewess: The Polemics of Sameness in Medieval English Anti-Judaism’ has recently been published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.
From 15 September 2021 to 15 August 2022 visitors of Cologne can see the exhibition “Into the Expanse. Aspects of Jewish Life in Germany.” The MiQua and Kolumba, Art Museum of the Archdiocese of Cologne, set up this exhibition showing “works from Kolumba’s collection as well as around 100 objects from German museums and international loans. They will enter into dialogue with Kolumba’s artworks in a unique experiment. Among the objects are such high-ranking pieces as the oldest surviving copy of the law of 321, made available by the Vatican Library (on view only until 11th October!). In addition, the Amsterdam Machsor, one of the highlight exhibits in the future MiQua, will be on display. The former synagogue in Niederzissen with its completely preserved genizah, i.e. a room for the storage of Jewish liturgical writings, will be our guest for the entire exhibition time. This is the first time that the genizah is presented in a museum.”
On 31 January 2022, Dean A. Irwin will be giving a talk to the Lincoln branch of the Historical Association entitled: ‘Neither a lender nor a borrower be’: Christian Debtors and Jewish Creditors in thirteenth century Lincolnshire’. Registration for the event is now open.
Julia Perratore the curator of the new exhibit at the Cloisters Spain, 1000-1200: Art at the Frontiers of Faith leads a conversation about the history and cultures of Jews in medieval Iberia, contextualizing the exhibit. Katrin Kogman-Appel discusses medieval art and architecture from this period, Jonathan Ray the social and cultural contexts of different strata of Jewish society, and Peter Cole shares his insights into literary culture, reading also several poems from Iberia he translated.
This new webpage Invisible East at the University of Oxford’s Oriental Institute offers new insights into the history of the medieval Islamicate East. Among the most important sources are those from the Afghan Genizah dating from the 9th to the 11th centuries and mostly written by Jewish merchants.
Veit Goßler, „Reflektionen“ (Reflections), September 19 to October 15, 2021.
For the 10th anniversary of the public presentation of the medieval mikveh in Erfurt, art moves into medieval buildings. Starting on September 19, 2021, Erfurt artist Veit Goßler is presenting his installations “Reflektionen” (Reflections), created especially for this occasion, in the mikveh and Old Synagogue.
They directly refer to each architectural element: Through the elements of water and light, the mikveh, once fed by living water, is revived. The central location of the Old Synagogue, the bima, the place of the Torah reading, is marked and reinterpreted by the light installation.
In A Pious Belligerence Uri Zvi Shachar examines one of the most contested and ideologically loaded issues in medieval history, the clash between Christians, Muslims, and Jews that we call the Crusades. Shachar demonstrates how in chronicles, apocalyptic treatises, and a variety of literary texts in Latin, French, Arabic, Hebrew, and Judeo-Arabic holy warriors are increasingly presented as having been rhetorically and anthropologically shaped through their contacts with their neighbors and adversaries.
The Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU) is putting the Luzzato Mahzor, an Ashkenazi manuscript copied c. 1270-1300 in southern Germany, on sale at Sotheby’s in New York on October 19. Now, there is a petition against this sale, so that it may be classified as a work of major patrimonial interest to France.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion University of Birmingham
“I am interested in Jewish and Islamic thought in the medieval period. I earned my Ph.D. from McGill University in 2019, where I wrote a dissertation on the reception of the philosophy of the Muslim philosopher Averroes (12th century) by the 13th-century Jewish Averrosit philosopher Isaac Albalag. The main source I have worked on is Albalag’s Sefer Tiqqun ha de’ot [the Emendation of the Doctrine], which is a Hebrew translation, with commentarial notes, of the encyclopedic treatise Maqasid al Falasifa by the Muslim theologian Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111). My book, “One Truth or Two? Jewish Averroists of the Truth of the Philosophers and the Truth of the Prophets: The Case of Isaac Albalag” (contracted with Brill) provides a comprehensive study of Albalag’s thought, focusing on his unusual view of the relationship between Judaism and philosophy which accorded him a reputation of being a proponent of the double truth doctrine.
The rabbis featured in the Babylonian Talmud are typically imagined as constituting a centralized movement centered around a few large institutions (yeshivot), and serving as the official expositors of proper Jewish behavior among the Jews of the time.
In recent years, scholars have begun to challenge this portrait, arguing instead that the rabbis’ activities were decentralized, deinstitutionalized, heterogenous, and local in nature. Formal academies and the centralization of the movement happened later, when post-talmudic attitudes were retrojected onto the talmudic past.
This talk explores the social and cultural worlds of the rabbis of the Talmud and how they emerged as the dominant stream of Jewish practice and tradition.
In collaboration with the AJS, the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature invites the AJS membership to celebrate their books on the AJS website and at the 53rd Annual AJS Conference in Chicago in December.
The AJS invites applications for its annual Dissertation Completion Fellowships. The program awards fellowships of up to $25,000 to PhD candidates entering the final year of their degrees and completing a dissertation in the field of Jewish Studies. Fellowships will support students during the 2022 – 2023 academic year.
The Center for Judaic and Holocaust Studies at Youngstown State University (CJHS) and the Jewish Studies Program at Kent State University (JSP) invite emerging scholars in the field of Jewish studies to apply to offer one of three “Emerging Scholar Lectures” in Spring 2022.
Assistant Professor, Medieval History University of Nottingham (UK)
“The focus of my research is the Jewish community of Barcelona, and I work mainly with notarial records that contain important information about private economic transactions not only between Jews and Christians as the law required, but also between Jews themselves. The integration of medieval Jews into a Latinate notarial culture has been previously noted by historians, and there is a considerable body of research on the 13th and early 14th centuries, during a period that has been considered the Golden Age of the Jews in the Crown of Aragon. There is less work done for the late 14th century, particularly for Barcelona in the period between the Black Death and the general riots of 1391 that precipitated the disappearance of its community. This is my main chronological scope.
Maniculae, the new journal run by the team of Handschriftencensus, is online (in German). The open access journal is dedicated to historical tradition of texts and manuscripts, and particularly to the spreading of news about new findings; and they have included Jewish Studies in their interests.
(https://www.gorgiaspress.com/in-and-around-maimonides), add the book to your cart and then, on checkout, simply add this coupon code MJSNOW40 to the ‘Discount Code’ box (bottom left), and then select ‘Apply Coupon’. The code will turn blue when it is successfully applied. The coupon is valid from today until the end of the month as from October 1st the book will be 40% off in our annual sale, so from that date the discount is automatic (no coupon needed).
Dr Toni Griffiths’s article ‘The Early Jewish Community in Twelfth-Century Winchester: An Interdisciplinary View’ has been published in ‘Early Medieval Winchester: Communities, Authority and Power in an Urban Space, c.800-c.1200’, ed. Ryan Lavell, Simon Roffey and Katherine Weikert. This follows in a long tradition of producing local studies of medieval Anglo-Jewish community, with an interdisciplinary twist.
During excavations in the medieval Jewish quarter in Cologne (2007-2020), numerous fragments of slate tablets with inscriptions were recovered, especially from the layer of destruction dating to 1349. The tablets offer unusual insights into the everyday life of Cologne Jews of the 14th century, as they contain texts and scribblings not intended for long-term storage. The majority of the graffiti uses Hebrew script. This unusual corpus includes writing exercises and concepts for illuminated manuscripts, tokens and an ancient Yiddish knight tale, as well as lists of names indicating financial transactions. This lecture will present these outstanding finds and exemplify some tablets and their significance.
The lecture will start at 7:30 pm. For the access link, please register at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MD/PhD candidate in the department of Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University, an Azrieli fellow, and an intern in Soroka Hospital.
“My work focuses on demonic magic from the late Middle Ages to the modern period. I am particularly interested in Solomonic magic (texts of demonic magic that are often attributed to King Solomon), and its reception.
The Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences at Boston College invites applications for a senior scholar to serve as the Kraft Chair and Director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at our Chestnut Hill, MA campus.
Review of applications will begin on October 1, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.
The Sangalli Institute invites young researchers to apply for the “Sangalli Institute Award for the Religious History 2021”, to publish two original monographs concerning the religious history from Middle Ages to the Contemporary Era, in an inter-disciplinary and inter-religious perspective. The monographs will appear in a peer-reviewed book series of the Firenze University Press.
On 13 September, Dr Emma Cavell (Swansea) will be giving a public lecture entitled ‘Litigation records and Jewish daily life in medieval English towns: a case from thirteenth-century Warwick’ to a joint meeting of Milim and the Leeds branch of the Jewish Historical Society of England.
This is the first session of the New Online Seminar Series by the German Historical Institutes of Paris and Rome “Euro-Mediterranean Entanglements in Medieval History”. Seminars are to take place every 2 months during the academic year 2021/2022. They are aimed at both young and established scholars from all medieval disciplines. The intention is to create an international and interdisciplinary forum where diverse topics and methodological approaches can be presented and discussed.