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‘Are you still my brother?’
Author: Simha Goldin

In this study, the various aspects of the way the Jews regarded themselves in the context of the lapse into another religion will be researched fully for the first time. We will attempt to understand whether they regarded the issue of conversion with self-confidence or with suspicion, whether their attitude was based on a clear theological position or on doubt and the coping with the problem as part of the process of socialization will be fully analysed. In this way, we will better understand how the Jews saw their own identity whilst living as a minority among the Christian majority, whose own self-confidence was constantly becoming stronger from the 10th to the 14th century until they eventually ousted the Jews completely from the places they lived in, England, France and large parts of Germany. This aspect of Jewish self-identification, written by a person who converted to Christianity, can help clarify a number of

Open Access (free)
Simha Goldin

became a religion that influenced rulers and was dominant organizationally, politically, and theologically throughout Europe, one that Goldin, Apostasy and Jewish identity.indd 4 20/08/2014 12:34:42 Early beginnings 5 was victorious over Islam and that established the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. During each of these stages, the attitude of Judaism towards those who converted to the rival religion was a clear indication of its own self-perception and identity. The Jews were familiar with the view that Christianity was the heir of Judaism and that it was the

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Simha Goldin

the eleventh century, Christians set forth from Europe on a crusade to free the Holy Land, violently attempting to convert to Christianity the Jews they met on their way. While the harm to Jews was limited to certain cities in Germany, the impression left by this blow went far beyond the actual dimensions of the attacks. It became clear that the Christians were prepared to engage in violent behavior, whose purpose was to force conversion to Christianity—and this in cities where Jewish existence had seemed secure under the protection of the rulers. The Jewish

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Simha Goldin

chronicles describing the First Crusade relate to events in Europe alone, leaving the reader with the impression that the Crusaders moved eastward, where they were stopped and slaughtered by their Christian brethren. There is no reference to the fact that in July 1099 Jerusalem was conquered decisively by the Christians. Anyone reading the Jewish chronicles of the Second Crusade gains the impression they speak of European matters and of movements within that continent. Only after Saladin defeated the Christians at the Battle of the Horns of Hattin (Karnei-Hittin) in 1187

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Open Access (free)
The change in mentality
Simha Goldin

8 Conclusions: The change in mentality Apostasy and Jewish identity Conclusions: The change in mentality J ewish self-definition in medieval Europe was based upon classical Jewish values: first, the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish people as the chosen people; second, an explicit Jewish identity deriving from the world of commandments unique to Judaism. As the Jewish group lived within Christian society, the essence of whose theological view was that Christians and Christianity had supplanted Jews and Judaism as God’s chosen people and religion

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Open Access (free)
Simha Goldin

Rabbinic edict prohibiting a man from marrying more than one woman or from divorcing a woman against her will. See S. Goldin, Jewish Women in Europe in the Middle Ages: A Quiet Revolution, Manchester 2011, pp. 99–105. 14 Rashi at Pesahim 87a s.v. ve-malhu; b. Bava Batra 75a; Midrasch Tehillim (Midrash on Psalms), ed. S. Buber, Wilna 1892 [repr. Jerusalem 1966], No. 145. Like R. Yehudah ben Moshe ha-Cohen, this expression is also used by Yalkut Shimoni, a midrash written during this same period, Yalkut Shimoni, Vol. 1, Jerusalem 1980, No. 888. 15 S. Baranfeld, Sefer

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Simha Goldin

letter was sent to Spain, this was essentially the situation throughout Europe. In 1169, the pope was forced to intervene in the destiny of a convert to Christianity known as Peter, whose complaint reached as high as the pope. This individual had been baptized in the church of St. Peter in Rheims, whose Mother Superior promised him money for his sustenance (praebenda). After her death, the archbishop of the city nullified everything that had been promised him. Similarly, in the city of Tournai a certain Jew converted after being promised a basic stipend, the office of

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Open Access (free)
The literature of pietists (Ashkenazic hasidim)
Simha Goldin

This chapter examine this particular mystic group and its special literary origins and the question of its attitude to those who converted to Christianity

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Open Access (free)
Simha Goldin

It is impossible to understand the question of the attitude to converts to Christianity without examining the attitude to Christians who converted to Judaism. This attitude is the mirror image of the attitude to converts from Judaism. In the same way that converts to Christianity were rejected and members of Jewish communities would try to distance themselves from them, so they would try to become close with and appreciate converts to Judaism.

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

of a patriarchal system that subordinated them, but rather powerful members of the landed nobility who were actively involved in deciding their own fates. 200 conclusion Notes 1 H. Bloch, Etymologies and Genealogies: A Literary Anthropology of the French Middle Ages (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983); G. Duby, ‘Women and power’, in T. N. Bisson (ed.), Cultures of Power: Lordship, Status, and Process in Twelfth-century Europe (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995), pp. 69–85; idem, Women of the Twelfth Century, trans. J. Birrell (2 vols

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm