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Lecture 13

Introduction to Judaism - Lecture 13

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Religion & Culture
Holly Pearse

RE204 – Lecture 13  in Christian Europe, Jews not allowed into craft guilds  in Islam, Jews were a part of the craft guilds, more involved in secular education o more Jews practicing medicine o many Jewish craftsmen  many producing luxury goods that Christian Europe imported o actively involved in increasing economic growth  Islam o rabbinic in nature, Talmudic o much higher production of documentation  literacy rate higher o more women who were literate, higher proficiency in literacy among general populous o people would invest money into their daughters if they did not have sons o women practicing skills  female doctors, torah scholars o many rabbis, scholars and teachers coming out during this period/area o good deal of exchange between Jews in Islam and Christian Europe  Islamic Jews highly mobile along trade routes  in Islam, high rate of travellers o language was not a barrier o citizenship not an issue  trade / leisure travel were common  people travelling large distances in their lifetime were common  exchange of texts and ideas o until crusades, travel between Islamic and Christian Jews very common o Jews travelled by water since it did not break the rules of Sabbath  many Jews captured by pirates o social, geographic, economic mobility for Jews under Islam  Eastern Diaspora o early diaspora (2-7 centuries CE)  Jewish life in Babylonia  Exilarch: head of Jewish civil life in Babylon (597BCE-6thcentury CE; 7-11 century CE)  rabbinic schools  secular rulers, connection to the Babylonian authorities  Gaonic Period (589CE-ca.1038CE)  Gaonim: Geniuses or pride, his Excellency; heads of Babylonian judaism, by being the heads of the academies o head of rabbinic schools, where Talmud was produced o worked with exilarchs o became main authority of rabbinic judaism, religious aspect of Jewish life o 200-500CE- first commentaries on mishnah o 500-700 - compilation of present day teaching o 7-11thcentury - teachings, and authority  around 1038, crusades interrupting communication 1 RE204 – Lecture 13  last Gaon assassinated during this time o loss of cohesion, Romaniotes- Greek speaking Jews, other Jews spoke Aramaic  Rise and Spread of Islam o prophet Muhammad (570-632CE)  third great Abrahamic monotheism  both had strict sense of Abrahamic monotheism o shared sense of connection to Abraham o saw the same God, that god was indivisible, rejection of holy trinity o fasting, charity and law  difference o prophet -  early Muslims hoped it would appeal to Jews  Jews- line of prophets ended before Muhammad  hoped that they would come to accept him as a prophet  new religions tend to innovate and critique or older religions, Islam did this to Judaism  difference in treatment of Jews during this time o establishment of the Ummah in Arabia  many precedents are set, Jews are kindred, both considered people of the book  seen as similar, but still wrong or incomplete  early caliphs and the Umayyad (610-750CE)  caliphs/Umayyad - united successors within Islam  expansion of Islam during this time, even into Spain  after this, more diffused  Abbasids, 750-1258CE o dispute, less of an expansion, lost territories in some cases o massive explosion in cultural productivity o time of cosmopolitan growth  science, literature, philosophy  over 4000 volumes in some libraries o expansion of Jewish though to include philosophy and literature o late Middle Ages 10th-15th centuries  12th century - decline in Jewish prosperity  15th century, appearance of ghettos o when rules are unstable, Jews lost security and freedom, and vice versa  Islamic Policy and Jewish Life o Quran and the Jews  agreements and disputes  ambivalence o some positive and some negative moments o once documented, polemics become an issue  Jewish polemics targeted towards past rulers 2 RE204 – Lecture 13 o pact of Umar (trad. 634-644/720 CE)  recorded in the book of taxes (8th century)  main example of dhimmis policies  dhimmis policies  protections and restrictions
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