Description

Moses Brandeis Levi (d. 1767) was one of the important rabbis of the early modern community in Mainz. Besides his local duties, he was also in charge for the rural communities in the territory of the archbishopric of Mainz. A number of sources indicate that his relations both to the local community and to the Gentile authorities were all but easy. In my presentation, I will introduce an unknown source from the records of the Jewish community in Mainz (Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem, D/Ma7/5, pp. 100-102). This Yiddish text is about a sharp dispute between Brandeis and the members of the community that came up on one of his decisions to ban all the bread, cakes, and pastries baked in town in 1754 due to his concerns on kashrut. A poll among twenty members of the community about their opinion on the rabbi’s ban showed that all of them were unwilling to accept his decision and eventually he was forced to withdraw the ban. The text is a detailed description of the issue, including the statements of the members. It shows a new understanding of the community in Mainz that was obviously more oriented on pragmatic aspects of everyday life than on strict observance of Halakha.

This presentation is for the following text(s):

  • Community Records of Mainz (1754)

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Event Website

http://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/emw/emw2010/

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The Keynote Address and individual presentation audio files are also available through iTunes U

Start Date

16-8-2010 2:00 PM

Location

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

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Aug 16th, 2:00 PM

Rabbinic Authority and Community in 18th Century Germany: Moses Brandeis Levi and the Jewish Community of Mainz

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

Moses Brandeis Levi (d. 1767) was one of the important rabbis of the early modern community in Mainz. Besides his local duties, he was also in charge for the rural communities in the territory of the archbishopric of Mainz. A number of sources indicate that his relations both to the local community and to the Gentile authorities were all but easy. In my presentation, I will introduce an unknown source from the records of the Jewish community in Mainz (Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem, D/Ma7/5, pp. 100-102). This Yiddish text is about a sharp dispute between Brandeis and the members of the community that came up on one of his decisions to ban all the bread, cakes, and pastries baked in town in 1754 due to his concerns on kashrut. A poll among twenty members of the community about their opinion on the rabbi’s ban showed that all of them were unwilling to accept his decision and eventually he was forced to withdraw the ban. The text is a detailed description of the issue, including the statements of the members. It shows a new understanding of the community in Mainz that was obviously more oriented on pragmatic aspects of everyday life than on strict observance of Halakha.

This presentation is for the following text(s):

  • Community Records of Mainz (1754)

http://fordham.bepress.com/emw/emw2010/emw2010/7