The topic in 2008 was "Law: Continuity and Change in the Early Modern Period." The transformations in the legal sphere are among the many crucial changes that mark the early modern period. The participants examined presented texts through both an historical and a jurisprudential lens; they questioned issues of communal self-governance, and the relationship of Jews to the laws and courts of the lands in which they lived, and engaged in an interdisciplinary dialogue about how law evolves, and how it affects and is affected by historical developments. The keynote speaker, Professor Richard Ross (University of Illinois) and Professor Susanne Stone (Yeshiva University, Cardozo School of Law) guided historians who are not always attuned to methodologies of legal theories in exploring new ways of examining legal sources. The 2008 workshop attempted to understand better what types of legal developments are characteristic of the early modern period. As in previous workshops, topics were considered from a multi-regional perspective. Edward Fram focused on the role of print in the popularization and codification of Jewish law; Yaron Ben Naeh presented text of Jewish cases in Ottoman courts; Adam Teller discussed legal status of Jews and Jewish courts in Poland-Lithuania; Benjamin Ravid highlighted the nexus between baptism and charters for Jews and Marranos in Venice; Barbara Staudinger presented texts of Jews in imperial courts in the Holy Roman Empire; David Horowitz and Ann Oravetz discussed questions of the herem in Hamburg and Amsterdam respectively; Miriam Bodian focused on Amsterdam Regulations of 1616 concerning the Jews, and Kenneth Stow explored questions of common law (ius commune). Additional sources included here are, Stefan Litt’s transcription and translation of the takkanot (community ordinances) of the community in Ühlfeld, dating from 1688; and Elimelech Westerich’s presentation of the question of divorce in Jewish law.

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2008
Sunday, August 17th
5:00 PM

Law: Continuity and Change in the Early Modern Period

EMW 2008

Yeshiva University, New York

5:00 PM - 5:00 PM

5:05 PM

Welcome Address at EMW 2008

Debra Kaplan, Yeshiva University

Yeshiva University, New York

5:05 PM

5:30 PM

Law: Continuity and Change in the Early Modern Period

Richard Ross, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Yeshiva University, New York

5:30 PM

Monday, August 18th
9:00 AM

Expanding Legal Horizons?

Edward Fram, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Yeshiva University, New York

9:00 AM

10:00 AM

The Legal Status of the Wife in Ashkenazi Jewish Legal Tradition: Continuity and Change in the Sixteenth Century

Elimelekh Westreich, Tel Aviv University, School of Law

Yeshiva University, New York

10:00 AM

11:00 AM

Takkanot Kahal and the origin of communal structures in a Franconian village community in the 17th century

Stefan Litt, Jewish National Library, Israel

Yeshiva University, New York

11:00 AM

12:00 PM

Challenging Herem in Hamburg, 1732

David Horowitz, Columbia University

Yeshiva University, New York

12:00 PM

2:00 PM

The Herem as the Source of Authority of the Lay Governing Council

Anne Oravetz Albert, University of Pennsylvania

Yeshiva University, New York

2:00 PM

3:00 PM

Evasion as a Legal Tactic: The 1616 Amsterdam Regulations Concerning the Jews

Miriam Bodian, University of Texas at Austin

Yeshiva University, New York

3:00 PM

4:00 PM

Under imperial Protection? Jewish Presence on the Imperial Aulic Court in the 16th and 17th Centuries

Barbara Staudinger, Institute for Jewish History in Austria, Austria

Yeshiva University, New York

4:00 PM

Tuesday, August 19th
9:00 AM

Jews at the Court of the Kadi

Yaron Ben-Naeh, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Yeshiva University, New York

9:00 AM

10:00 AM

Trying Issues: Polish-Lithuanian Jews under Multiple Jurisdictions

Adam Teller, Brown University

Yeshiva University, New York

10:00 AM

11:00 AM

When the Indelible Sacrament of Baptism Met Mercantile Raison d'Etat

Benjamin Ravid, Brandeis University

Yeshiva University, New York

11:00 AM

1:00 PM

The Jews and Ius Commune

Kenneth Stow, Haifa University, Israel

Yeshiva University, New York

1:00 PM