Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945

By Marion A. Kaplan | Go to book overview

1
The Environment of Jewish Life

The fusion of early modernity and traditionalism that took place in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries helped produce a series of significant and exciting events and movements in European Jewish history. The dispersion of Sephardi Jews from Spain and Portugal, often in the guise of Marranos or secret Jews, resulted in readmissions that reversed the medieval expulsions from countries like England and France. Germany too was bursting with important Jewish activity. The development of Absolutism and changes in economic thinking provided the context for fundamental political and economic changes in German lands as well, including the rise of the court Jews and the establishment or reestablishment of hundreds of Jewish communities.

Because of Germany's fragmentation, virtually every study mentioning land, borders, and peoples of eighteenth-century Europe reaches some kind of impasse when it comes to dealing with the German lands.1 For those on the roads a great deal, and that certainly included Jews, fragmentation caused numerous hindrances at borders: guards inspected carriages; travelers paid customs; and at times people were detained or refused admittance. Currency differences had to be accommodated as well. Lawsuits and other legal matters crossing territorial lines presented greater problems and complicated commerce even further. Still, many and perhaps even most Germans may have been only remotely aware of these difficulties.

Vienna, Prague, and Metz all played an important role for German Jewry during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Vienna had considerable political significance as capital of the empire, and Prague rose as intellectual cornerstone of the German rabbinate. Alsace and Lorraine were the most integrated of these peripheral areas to the social, economic, and religious life of what we call German Jewry in this era.

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Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945 iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • English Glossary ix
  • Title Page 1
  • Introduction: Marion A. Kaplan 3
  • Part I: On the Threshold of Modernity 9
  • 1: The Environment of Jewish Life 11
  • 2: Family Life 24
  • 3: Childhood and Education 41
  • 4: Economic Life 54
  • 5: Religious and Communal Life 70
  • 6: Social Relations 84
  • Part II: The Beginning of Integration 93
  • 7: Jewish Residential Patterns 95
  • 8: Family Life 107
  • 9: Education 118
  • 10: Economic Life 130
  • 11: Religious Practice and Mentality 144
  • 12: German Jews and Their German Jews and Their 159
  • Part III: As Germans and as Jews in Imperial Germany 173
  • 13: Surroundings 175
  • 14: Family 182
  • 15: Education 201
  • 16: Work 215
  • 17: Religious Practices, Mentalities,And Community 235
  • 18: Social Life 252
  • Part IV: From Everyday Life to a State of Emergency 271
  • 19: Housing and Housekeeping 273
  • 20: Family Life 283
  • 21: Education and Vocational Training 291
  • 22: Career and Employment 306
  • 23: Religious Practice in the Synagogue and at Home 323
  • 24: Leisure Time and Social Life 333
  • 25: Constricting and Extinguishing Jewish Life 346
  • Conclusion 375
  • Notes 387
  • Bibliography 477
  • Index 507
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