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Rabbinic Literature in Moravia from the Fifteenth to the Nineteenth Century


Rabbinic literature is an important genre of primary sources of Jewish cultural, religious, social, and intellectual history. As a rule rabbinic texts were written by the rabbis who formed the intellectual elite of traditional Judaism. Rabbinic texts are often difficult to understand; nonetheless, researching them is quite rewarding. Besides providing many “hard facts” about the life of Jewish communities rabbinic texts also inform modern researchers about how reality was perceived by the intellectual elite of the Jewish minorities and they reveal the possibilities and limits of a religious authority that functioned for the most part of its long and complex history under the dire conditions of discriminated minority. The Jewish community of Moravia (a region in the Czech Republic) played a very important role in the Jewish life of the pre-modern period from the sixteenth until the nineteenth century. It was close to such important centers of Jewish life as Vienna, Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest. The Moravian chief-rabbi (Landesrabbiner) was one of the most prestigious rabbinic positions in Europe. The rabbinic literature produced in the region is an eminent source-material about the social and intellectual history of Moravian Jews and extremely important from a comparative perspective as well. In spite of its importance, the history of the Jewish communities in Moravia has received little attention since the Holocaust period. This is true even more of the rabbinic literature written by or about Moravian Jews. The research project proposed here aims to realize this desideratum by (1) surveying the rabbinic sources that were produced in Moravia or about Jews living in Moravia from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century; (2) preparing an annotated bibliography of these sources; (3) preparing a sourcebook with English translations and comments; (4) analyzing these sources in papers published in English, Czech, and Hungarian.

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Krizkovskeho 8
771 47 Olomouc
Tipo de actividad
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Aportación de la UE
€ 45 000
Contacto administrativo
Ingeborg Fialová (Prof.)