Audio Lectures

The End of the Rabbinic Herem in Hamburg 1731-1781

Posted November 11, 2012

The Rabbinic ban or herem was utilized by the Jewish communities until the beginning of the nineteenth century to punish those Jews who violated Jewish law and communal practice. This lecture will explore the beginning of the breakdown of the effectiveness of the herem through the study of two cases in Hamburg in which Jews challenged the authority of the Rabbinic court by presenting their case to the Hamburg Senate. What were the factors in the delicate balance between the Jewish community in Hamburg and the local authorities and how did this relationship set the groundwork for the integration of the Jewish community into the larger general population?
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