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In: Exegesis and Poetry in Medieval Karaite and Rabbanite Texts


The article discusses the manifestations of religious renewal in devout Karaite Hebrew poetry written in Poland-Lithuania in the early modern period. While this type of Hebrew poetry is entrenched in tradition and derivative in nature, certain innovative elements appear both in the wordings and in the performance of Karaite Hebrew poetry during the early modern period. Alluding, for example, to new Sabbath rituals, the poems reflect the influence of popular mysticism on Karaite ideology. Hebrew poetry also indicates slight changes in the societal status of Karaite women as well as an increase in the use of the vernacular.

In: Zutot
In: Religious Identities in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages
Volume Editors: , , and
Religious Identities in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages contains eight thought-provoking articles that discuss the formation of antique and early medieval religious identities and ideas in rabbinic Judaism, early Christianity, Islam, and Greco-Roman culture. The articles question the artificial disciplinary and conceptual boundaries between traditions. Instead, they stress their shared nature. The collection is a result of discussions at the international symposium “Ideas and Identities in Late Antiquity: Jews, Christians, and Muslims” at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies on March 12–13, 2018.


This article explores how Jews in Finland relate to the musical traditions of their synagogues and the changes that have occurred in the customs over time and as the result of various cultural and spiritual influences. Based on ethnographic data, it focuses on rituals, liturgy, and music as contexts for negotiating relationships between the institution and the individual, memory practices, and contemporary innovation – being and doing Jewish, to use concepts from the vernacular religion framework. The article outlines the historical development of Minhag Finland, the vernacular liturgical customs. It concludes that the “turn to traditions” should be stated in the plural, as several Jewish customs, cultures, and context are engaged in the negotiations around liturgy. This is not just a way to freeze time and preserve the status quo. Instead, seeking for meaningful models in the past paves the way for change – especially when turning toward a broad range of traditions.

Open Access
In: Numen