Jewish Law from the Shulḥan Arukh to the Enlightenment

Edward Fram

in An Introduction to the History and Sources of Jewish Law

Published in print March 1996 | ISBN: 9780198262626
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682360 | DOI:
Jewish Law from the Shulḥan Arukh to the Enlightenment

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Because of the invasions brought about by the Swedish, and the Cossack revolts that occurred during the period between 1648 and 1658, the Golden Age of the Polish Jewry in 1600 was brought to a halt. These wars caused several Jewish communities to be dissolved, and also resulted in the westward migration of many Jewish constituents. While Hasidism became a movement that was furthered by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov's successors during the mid-eighteenth century, ‘court Jews’ came about in absolutist States of Germany. Such Jews were able to adjust quickly into society because they had significant influence over politics and wealth that traditional Jewish communities and rabbinic authorities could not restrain or reach. This chapter illustrates how Islamic law enabled Jews with judicial autonomy and the right to practise their religion, and that Jews were still able to observe ritual law despite occasional violations of commercial law.

Keywords: migration; court Jews; Germany; judicial autonomy; religion; Islamic law; ritual law

Chapter.  7625 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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