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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 20, 2016

als etlich kristen lüt … mit dien Juden getantzet hant

Über die Teilnahme von Christen an jüdischen Festen im Mittelalter

Markus J. Wenninger EMAIL logo
From the journal Aschkenas

Abstract

Based on the debate about the murals in the Jewish house »Zum Brunnenhof« in Zurich this essay discusses whether or not Christian participation in Jewish festivals was unusual and prohibited or normal in the Middle Ages. Following an outline of the relevant legal aspects – there were, up to the High Middle Ages, only occasional decrees from provincial councils that banned Christians from eating and celebrating with Jews; only from the twelfth century onwards were such bans included in the general canon law, while they were never part of secular legislation – the main part of this investigation focuses on actual reports of Christians attending Jewish festivals. These were mainly weddings, but there are also reports of Christians participating in Purim or other celebrations. Most relevant descriptions come from Germany, one from England, where the Bishop of Hereford 1286 took exception to the participation of Christians in a Jewish wedding, threatening with excommunication in an attempt to stop such behaviour. In Germany it was mostly a matter of municipal authorities punishing the dancing of Christians on days of fasting or religious holidays for moral reasons. But even in the increasingly anti-Jewish late Middle Ages, and in spite of the restrictions imposed by the church, nobody really minded the participation of Christians in Jewish festivals as such. In conclusion, various questions are being discussed which arise for the historian in connection with the participation of Christians in Jewish festivals and vice versa.


Article note:

Nach ersten Vorarbeiten hatte ich diesen Aufsatz schon vor über einem Jahrzehnt angekündigt (Markus J. Wenninger: Von jüdischen Rittern und anderen waffentragenden Juden im mittelalterlichen Deutschland. In: Aschkenas 13 [2003], H. 1, S. 35–82, hier S. 44, Anm. 35) und Teile davon auch zusammenfassend veröffentlicht (Ders.: Nicht in einem Bett – aber doch auf einer Hochzeit. Zur Teilnahme von Christen an jüdischen Festen im Mittelalter. In: Sabine Hödl [Red.]: Nicht in einem Bett. Juden und Christen in Mittelalter und Frühneuzeit [Juden in Mitteleuropa, 2005], S. 10–17), ihn dann aber aufgrund anderer Arbeiten immer wieder zurückgestellt. Als Festgabe für meinen Freund Friedel Battenberg soll er nun einen besonderen Platz bekommen.


Online erschienen: 2016-6-20
Erschienen im Druck: 2016-6-20

© De Gruyter 2016

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