Monday, December 01, 2008


I recently read Involuntary Marginals, a book by Ephraim Shoham that studies medieval Jewish attitudes towards people who lived in the margins of Jewish society. It's on sale now at Shazar, by the way. A good proportion of the book is devoted to Jewish lepers.

It seems that Jewish society was less zealous about isolating its lepers from the rest of the people (Shoham makes an interesting comparison in this regard with the Crusader kingdoms in the land of Israel).

I was quite surprised to see this article, on the New York Times website, about a Hawaiian village whose inhabitants are lepers who were sent into confinement in the 1950s.


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