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By Dean Phillip Bell

Even if Jews in early sleek Germany produced little within the manner of formal historiography, Jews however engaged the prior for lots of purposes and in quite a few and fantastic methods. They narrated the prior as a way to implement order, empower authority, and list the traditions in their groups. during this manner, Jews created group constitution and projected that constitution into the longer term. yet Jews extensively utilized the prior as a way to contest the marginalization threatened by means of broader advancements within the Christian society within which they lived. because the Reformation threw into aid critical questions about authority and culture and as Jews persevered to be afflicted by anti-Jewish mentality and politics, narration of the earlier allowed Jews to re-inscribe themselves in heritage and modern society.Drawing on a variety of resources, together with chronicles, liturgical works, books of customs, memorybooks, biblical commentaries, rabbinic responsa and group ledgers, this examine bargains a well timed reassessment of Jewish neighborhood and id in the course of an often turbulent period. It engages, yet then redirects, vital discussions by means of historians in regards to the nature of time and the development and function of heritage and reminiscence in pre-modern Europe and pre-modern Jewish civilization. This booklet might be of vital worth, not just to students of Jewish historical past, yet an individual with an curiosity within the social and cultural features of spiritual background.

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66). 34 Glückel of Hameln, The Memoirs of Glückel of Hameln, trans. , 1932), p. 14 (Glikl Hamil, Memoirs (Buenos Aires, 1967) [Yiddish], p. 50). She also writes that, “no such arrogance reigned in the old days as now, and people were not wont to eat such costly meals” (p. 267; see the Yiddish version, pp. 340–41). ), A Treasury of Jewish Letters: Letters from the Famous and the Humble (London, 1952), vol. II, pp. 466–7. For early modern letters, compare Steven Ozment, Flesh and Spirit: Private Life in Early Modern Germany (New York, 1999).

267; see the Yiddish version, pp. 340–41). ), A Treasury of Jewish Letters: Letters from the Famous and the Humble (London, 1952), vol. II, pp. 466–7. For early modern letters, compare Steven Ozment, Flesh and Spirit: Private Life in Early Modern Germany (New York, 1999). 36 Zimmer, Synods, p. 145. ), A Treasury of Jewish Letters, pp. 466–7. Reconsidering Early Modern German Jewish Memory and History 27 destruction of the Temple was perceived as an appropriately stirring image. This does not imply that early modern Jews diminished the importance of the past by recalling it in such casual terms; nor does it indicate that Jews could not understand the past or present outside of paradigms.

17 Complicating these general trends and the development of early modern German settlement was the instability and war during the first half of the seventeenth century. In many places the Thirty Years’ War had remarkable demographic, economic, and political effects. 18 Augsburg in 1600 had 45,000 inhabitants; by 1635, however, the city was inhabited by only 16,000 people. Between 1632 and 1635, Mainz lost 8,000 people (half of its inhabitants). Such proportional population losses could be experienced in any size town.

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