IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 1602: The Jewish Residential Home and the Jewish Neighbourhood in Medieval Cities in Germany

Thursday 10 July 2008, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Simha Goldin, Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center, Tel Aviv University
Moderator/Chair:Eva Frojmovic, Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Leeds
Respondent:Joseph Isaac Lifshitz, Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center, Tel Aviv University / Shalem Center, Jerusalem
Paper 1602-aWhat We Can Learn from the Medieval Jewish Sources about Jewish and Christian Neighbourhood
(Language: English)
Simha Goldin, Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center, Tel Aviv University
Index terms: Hebrew and Jewish Studies
Paper 1602-bThe Jewish Neighbourhood in the Medieval German City
(Language: English)
Silvia Codreanu-Windauer, Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege, Regensburg
Index terms: Hebrew and Jewish Studies
Paper 1602-cThe Jewish Bedroom in the Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Anat Kutner, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan
Index terms: Daily Life, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Theology

Research of material culture bases itself on several sources – archeology, art, literature, and law. Using judicial sources (such as notarial and trial documents) is convenient, because they have a high quantity of accurate details. All of this is correct regarding the research of Jewish medieval architecture as well, although, in this case, the judicial sources are enriched with halachic sources (Jewish law). This session will cover some questions of method, and then focus on two case studies:
1) One of the halachic subjects which is relevant to the research on the Jewish residential home is the laws of Eruvin. Jewish law prohibits the carrying of objects from one domain to another on Saturday, unless they are considered one domain (Eruv). The halachic definition of a domain depends on many architectural details, and as such it can be an excellent source for the historian investigating the Jewish residential home in the Middle Ages.
2) Our historical sources regarding medieval Jewish bedrooms are in accordance with what we know about Christian sleeping practices, but in tension with rabbinic law regarding separate sleeping arrangements for menstruants. The second case study will investigate this tension and evaluate textual and material evidence for the Jewish negotiation of law and custom in a Christian environment.