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Judaism in Practice : From the Middle Ages through the Early Modern Period - Lawrence Fine

Judaism in Practice

From the Middle Ages through the Early Modern Period

By: Lawrence Fine (Editor)

Paperback Published: 18th November 2001
ISBN: 9780691057873
Number Of Pages: 556

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This collection of original materials provides a sweeping view of medieval and early modern Jewish ritual and religious practice. Including such diverse texts as ritual manuals, legal codes, mystical books, autobiographical writings, folk literature, and liturgical poetry, it testifies to the enormous variety of practices that characterized Judaism in the twelve hundred years between 600 and 1800 C.E. Its focus on religious practice and experience--how Judaism was actually lived by people from day to day--makes this anthology unique among the few sourcebooks available.

The volume encompasses the broad scope and complex texture of Jewish religious practice, taking into account many aspects of Jewish culture that have hitherto been relatively neglected: the religious life of ordinary people, the role and status of women, art and aesthetics, and marginalized as well as remote Jewish communities. It introduces such remarkable personalities as Moses Maimonides, Leon Modena, and Gluckel of Hameln, and presents extraordinary texts on festival practice, Torah study, mystical communities, meditation, exorcism, the practice of charity, and folk rites marking birth and death.

Representing state-of-the-art scholarship by distinguished academics from around the world, the volume includes many materials never before translated into English. Each text is preceded by an accessible introduction, making this book suitable for college and university students as well as a general audience. Whether read as a deliberate course of study or dipped into selectively for a glimpse into fascinating Jewish lives and places, "Judaism in Practice" holds rich rewards for any reader.

Industry Reviews

"Lawrence Fine ... has assembled an impressive array of writings that explore the variegated ways in which Jews have practiced their religion... By giving us a variety of texts and materials that go beyond the boundaries of conventional sources, Fine has opened up ways of thinking about the Jewish experience that are likely to challenge readers' expectations. In doing so, he and his contributors raise essential questions about the nature of Judaism as a religion and a culture, shake readers out of complacency and leave us to wonder at the marvelous scope of the Jewish people's history."--Barry W. Holtz, The Forward

Princeton Readings in Religionsp. vii
Note on Transliteration and Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Contributorsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
Rituals of Daily and Festival Practice
Communal Prayer and Liturgical Poetryp. 39
Italian Jewish Women at Prayerp. 52
Measuring Graves and Laying Wicksp. 61
Adorning the "Bride" on the Eve of the Feast of Weeksp. 74
New Year's Day for Fruit of the Treep. 81
Rituals of the Life Cycle
The Role of Women at Rituals of Their Infant Childrenp. 99
Honey Cakes and Torah: A Jewish Boy Learns His Lettersp. 115
Women and Ritual Immersion in Medieval Ashkenaz: The Sexual Politics of Pietyp. 131
Life-Cycle Rituals of Spanish Crypto-Jewish Womenp. 143
Ritualizing Death and Dying: The Ethical Will of Naphtali Ha-Kohen Katzp. 155
Torah, Learning, and Ethics
Moses Maimonides' Laws of the Study of Torahp. 171
An Egyptian Woman Seeks to Rescue Her Husband from a Sufi Monasteryp. 186
A Monastic-like Setting for the Study of Torahp. 191
Religious Practice among Italian Jewish Womenp. 203
A Mystical Fellowship in Jerusalemp. 210
The Love of Learning among Polish Jewsp. 215
Religious Sectarianism and Communities on the Margins
Jewish Sectarianism in the Near East: A Muslim's Accountp. 229
Travel in the Land of Israelp. 237
Karaite Ritualp. 248
Living Judaism in Confucian Culture: Being Jewish and Being Chinesep. 265
Art and Aesthetics
Defending, Enjoying, and Regulating the Visualp. 281
Illustrating History and Illuminating Identity in the Art of the Passover Haggadahp. 298
The Arts of Calligraphy and Composition, and the Love of Booksp. 318
Jewish Preaching in Fifteenth-Century Spainp. 325
Magic and Mysticism
The Book of the Great Namep. 341
Visionary Experiences among Spanish Crypto-Jewish Womenp. 348
Mystical Eating and Food Practices in the Zoharp. 353
Devotional Rites in a Sufi Modep. 364
Pietistic Customs from Safedp. 375
Jewish Exorcism: Early Modern Traditions and Transformationsp. 386
Rabbi Menahem Nahum of Chernobyl: Personal Practices of a Hasdic Masterp. 399
Remarkable Lives
The Life of Moses ben Maimonp. 413
Dolce of Worms: The Lives and Deaths of an Exemplary Medieval Jewish Woman and Her Daughtersp. 429
The Earliest Hebrew First-Crusade Narrativep. 438
Leon Modena's Autobiographyp. 453
The Early Messianic Career of Shabbatai Zvip. 470
The Life of Glikl of Hamelnp. 483
Israel ben Eliezer, the Baal Shem Tovp. 498
The Scholarly Life of the Gaon of Vilnap. 513
The Jewish Holidaysp. 521
Indexp. 523
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691057873
ISBN-10: 0691057877
Series: Princeton Readings in Religion
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 556
Published: 18th November 2001
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.78