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Simha Goldin

does the Jewish reader discover that there were Christians in Palestine and that they were defeated by the Muslims, who slaughtered them and stole their sacred objects.1 Nevertheless, one may find an echo of the Jewish theological frustration in light of the political situation and the Christian victories. In only one source, that of R. Yitzhak ben Saadya, does the author of the piyyut depict Goldin, Apostasy and Jewish identity.indd 31 20/08/2014 12:34:43 32 Apostasy and Jewish identity this problem in a heartfelt manner, without any attempt at concealment. The

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

the group.4 If, previously, the convert to Christianity had been referred to using the Talmudic term ‘a convert out of appetite’ (mumar le-te’avon), implying that he was still considered a brother whom one was required to ‘sustain in life,’ the halakhic writers now used the term ‘a convert out of spite’ (mumar le-hakh’is), which was tantamount to the term meshumad (‘apostate’), thereby changing both the definition and the implied attitude. The ‘apostate,’ who is a ‘heretic out of spite,’ has removed himself from brotherhood with the Jewish group; hence, there is no

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

-kol ha-Torah kulah (‘one who denies the entire Torah’)—that is to say, one who deliberately violates those religious laws which every Jew observes—is classified in a harsher and more distancing manner. However, it is implied by the discussion that he too continues to live within the Jewish collectivity and maintains a similar way of life to that of his erstwhile fellows, as before.8 This approach is expressed in a Talmudic passage concerning the ‘eruv. The ‘eruv is the method by which people living around a common courtyard may ease certain of the Sabbath restrictions

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe