World Congress day 3, part 2
Session 706 – disjointed liveblogging in a windowless room
Alfred Haverkamp – literary sources in Hebrew, German, Yiddish. The full documentation will be posted online. Rainer Barzen and Christoph Cluse are full-time researchers, as well as present and past doctoral students. Many areas still to cover, especially in the East. Cooperation with Prague and Poland. Judaism and Christianity are usually studied separately from each other. But the Corpus includes both Jewish and Christian memories, and their interactions. Unlike Christian liturgy, Jewish piyutim preserved memories in the family, even outside of Germany. Latin charter, Koblenz 1307, for Jews, with Hebrew summary on verso: מן העירונים, שהיהודים הם עירונים בעיר. There were other documents in the archives of the Koblenz kehillah, but they were lost in 1348. In terms of commercial deeds, less was put into writing than in the Mediterranean area – only major transactions were recorded in writing.
Benjamin Laqua – Cologne, Judenschreinsbuch. Legal deeds in serial records. Especially first half of 14th century. Crossover between Jewish and Christian modes of record keeping. Mostly voluntary dispositions of land in Jewish quarter. Basis of historical studies in 19th century and early 20th century. Until now, mostly communal institutions. Records had been kept for 100 years before a special book was set aside for the Jews. A separate volume was part of the topographical sub-division of the city. Entry from 1260s shows that in major real estate changes in the Jewish quarters, leaders of the Jewish community, and Jewish legal norms (first-born double inheritance), were involved. Hebrew deeds were sometimes stitched into the book, to buttress the Latin deed. Sometimes, these Hebrew documents have Latin writing on them, suggesting that they were kept by Christians before being appended to the book. The Christian scribes probably needed Jews to translate for them. Latin documents always list the wives as joint owners, even when in the Hebrew deeds they are not mentioned. Restriction of inheritance to sons was not followed by the community. Usually, latin documents do not refer to the ketubah. This tradition of memory was recently ended by the collapse of the Cologne archive, with the book still missing.
Rami Reiner – cemeteries separate the dead from the living. The gravestone seems to keep them away, giving the date when they left. 1500 tombstones, 1107-1346 from Wurzburg. Due to be printed next year. Gerard Nahon published Jewish tombstones from France – they're pretty boring, all the same, like a military cemetery. Ashkenaz is different. There are standard phrases, but more individualism. 80 tombstones have unique expressions. This lecture deals with ברכת המתים, which is more conservative. German tombstones almost never mention resurrection of the dead. Worms tombstones (old edition, Michael Brokke's edition not yet available) founded in mid-12th century, have מנוחתו כבוד at the beginning, but replaced by מנוחתו בגן עדן. עדן גן, חלק בגן עדן. 1220s – נשמתו in Eden; from 1240s – נפשו. Mainz, after 1250 – תנצב"ה. Early Ashkenazic tombstones – מנוחתו בכבוד, מנוחתו בשלום, but then move to Gan Eden. After that – בצרור החיים. What does this say about their attitude towards life?
Descriptions of Eden in story of R Yehoshua ben Levi and in Mahzor Vitry. Place of sensual pleasure, where the person stays forever. Samuel Shepkaru – placement in Eden major concern in Crusade Chronicles, instead of martyrdom lishmah. Diachronic investigation bears this out. Eva Haverkamp concluded that the Raavan chronicle is mostly based upon an earlier one from right after the Crusade. No Eden emphasis there. In Solomon ben Samson chronicle, it starts to appear. Ref to Micha Peri's doctorate. Jacques le Goff studied the rise of purgatory. This probably influenced a Jewish process – the dead will go straight to Eden without having to suffer in purgatory.
בצרור החיים – from the words of Abigail to David, where it is probably a blessing for a long life. But later traditions identify this as a place in heaven, under the Heavenly Throne. Especially in Haside Ashkenaz – Sefer Gematriot. But not only Haside Ashkenaz were familiar with this idea.
Mixing of themes supports assumption that this is more about fashion than about theology. Similarly for the rise of אמן אמן אמן סלה. Origins in Talmud as part of adjuration, development in Hekhalot. Rituals for personal protection – Kiddush Levana, Kapparot. Moshe Idel recently pointed to a different group of Haside Ashkenaz, around Nehemiah the Prophet, with an emphasis on prophecy and adjurations of angels. And indeed, the manuscript that Idel studied – Montana– includes this formula, אא"א סלה. Transition to this style became standard in Ashkenaz in middle of thirteenth century. Probably connected to R Nehemiah and his group.
This changes the role of the gravestone. Not just giving information about the dead person, but to bless him with the ברכת המתים. R Elazar Rokeah in Hokhmat ha-Nefesh talks about protection through Heavenly Throne from mazikim. That is what the gravestones were not trying to do.
Rainer Barzen's edition of Takanot Shu"m is due to be published next year.
How were memorbuchs created, which ideas shaped them? Especially around 1300, Rintfleisch. Memorbuch of Nuremberg – until 1298, written by single scribe, Yitzhak bar Shmuel of Meiningen. Codicology shows that he had two separate purposes – recording names of wealthy benefactors, and a martyrology, beginning from 11th century and followed by short notes about individual victims. Possibly a model brought from the Rhine communities. Entries about the Rintfleisch persecutions are not integrated into a whole – entries by date and place. Nuremberg was attacked in August, and the scribe himself was killed. Information about the attacks came from survivors, or sometimes a centralized list by another community. The entry for Nuremberg is different. 600 names of victims arranged according to hierarchy. First kohanim and levi'im, then regular families and then families headed by widows. This could be based on local documentation of the community for taxation purposes (as suggested by Yisrael Yuval). But perhaps the list was rearranged after the attack for liturgical reasons. Wurzburg was a more important community than Nuremberg. The names are not arranged in any order, but is probably based on a pre-existing list. It was probably written by survivors from Wurzburg. Why was it added to the Nuremberg memorbuch? Tradition of broad memoria? Rothenburg ob der Tauber is different. Describes the events themselves, the series of consecutive attacks. They also erected a memorial stone outside the first wall of the town (found in 1914). Reused by Nazis, and survives only partially. Documents the three attacks, written in first person singular, apparently by the person who commissioned it. Perhaps it was part of a larger memorial that also gave the names of the dead. The date is different from that in the memorbuch, so probably independent of it – rare example of both public and private remembrance. Ms Munich 393 – 14th century list of private fast days (Megillat Ta'anit Batra). There are two extensions – 13 Av, Wurzburg ונטבעו במקוה מורינו הרב ר' אפרים וזוגתו החסידה מרת רחל והרבה מן הקהל עמם. 6 Adar II, Uberlingen – בתי החסידה קדשה השם עם קדושי העיר... לכן היום בלבי נטמן ומצאתי פסוק לסימן כלך יפה רעיתי ומום אין בך השם ינקום את דמם ככתוב ונקתי דמם לא נקתי והשם שוכן בציון. This is a rare example of personal memoria, perhaps only possible within the context of this list.