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Lecture 12

Introduction to Judaism - Lecture 12

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Religion & Culture
Holly Pearse

RE204 – Lecture 12  Reformation and the Jews o Christian reformation: period of change within Christianity, spurred by several key leaders (Martin Luther) leading to the split between Catholicism and protestant denominations (1517-21)  If Jews converted to Protestantism instead of Catholicism, then it would prove the “rightness” of Jesus  Re-evaluate the link between Judaism to Jewish o Many protestants sought to learn Hebrew  did not convert to Protestantism  Martin Luther upset about that, called them the children of Satan  Burned down synagogues in Germany o Judaizer – Christians that adopt Jewish cultures  Focused on Peter, kosher laws + circumcision should apply to all people o Catholic Church decided protestant movie was a Judaizer movement  Protestant ministers were also married, Catholics had strict celibacy o Protestants made claim that catho2lics were Judaizer  Charged them with legalism  Legalism – accusation that a religion has nothing but law, lacks faith, good works o All you do is follow trite laws and feel good about yourself  Interferes with faith o Luther emphasized faith over law o More restrictions on Jewish interaction with Christians  Censorships of Jewish books o Felt once Christians became Jews, or reconciliated, it would lead to the end times o Some Jews saw reformation that religious pluracy would be more acceptable  Judaism in Christian Europe o High amount of literacy, first written down appeals of education for women o Ethical will, last statement for family, Jewish mission, representation of the covenant o Rabbinic laws have become habitual during this period  Rabbinic Activity o Some key Ashkenazi “Rishonim”  Rishonim – the early ones, before Shulchan Aruch  R. Solomon b. Isaac (Rashi) – France 1040-1105  Commentary printed in Talmud, famous commentator  Commentary taught even to this day, useful for teaching new students  R. Abraham b. David (Rabad) – France 1125-1198  Jewish Luther (loosely)  Questioned why people codified the law, don’t want Judaism became a legal religion 1 RE204 – Lecture 12  Codes make people lazy, no one will read the Talmud, but will just read the code and memorize it  R. Meir of Rotenberg – Germany 1215-1293  Kidnapped for ransom  R. Moses Isserles (Rema) – Poland 1520-1572  Mappah, Sephardic commentary on the Shulchan Aruch  Important part of orthodox Judaism  Represents both Sephardic and Ashkenazi teachings o Busy with responsas during this period  Written by the “authorities” of the law o Disputations - responses to Christian questions or charges or responses to Christian interpretations of Judaism  Some were very academic, rather than polemics  Some rabbis grew famous from the delivery of their disputations  Suggests that rabbis were learned in both Judaism and Christianity o Commentary  Teach for years, and then write their lectures down  Publishing Talmud o Ca. 1450 – Europeans discover the movable-type printing press o 1480 – soncino tractates (Italy) o 1520-23 – bomberg edition (Italy) standardized formation (before it was han
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