Jewish Communities within Christian Society in the Middle Ages (from the First Crusade until the Black Death (1400)
A Study of Jewish history in Christian Europe from the 12th to the 14th centuries, in Medieval Northern France, England and Germany. We will get to know the lifestyle of the Jews living in these areas, and the way in which they coped with the Christian environment that presented them with a constant threat. We will spend some time understanding the educational effort made by Diaspora Jewry to complete with a Christianity that appeared to be winning on all fronts. We will examine the process of development of the communities and the development of methods of coping with a reality that was extremely demanding. We will investigate the internal relationships within Jewish society such as the attitude to children, the status of women, and so forth. We shall also look at some of the central issues relating to Jewish life during this period: the blood libels, the burning of the Talmud in Paris and the expulsion of the Jews from Northern France, England and Germany. We will expand our examination to include Jewish cultural life and creativity during the period: prayers, commentaries on the Bible, liturgical poems, the expansion of Jewish Law and its adaptation to the realities of the environment, the writing of Jewish history and so forth.