The central government of the empire moved south from Kaifeng to Hangzhou after the collapse of the Northern Song Dynasty, resulting in some of the Daoist temples that were originally in Kaifeng to be re-established in Hangzhou. These reestablished temples were, for the most part, intimately related to the imperial politics. They were a manifestation of the continuation and legitimacy of the imperial regime and were a psychological confirmation of the safety of the regime and the imperial household. From this we can see, in the midst of religious cultural changes, how the basic cultural factors were interrelated with particular believers.
Introduction: Collective Memory and Displaced Nostalgia The physical destruction and geographical inaccessibility of the former Northern Song capital of Kaifeng was central to its nostalgic reproduction in cultural memory by displaced Southern Song literati, who comprised one of the largest
This comprehensive, textual treatment of the Kaifeng Passover Rite is a significant contribution to the ongoing discussion of the community’s origins in particular and to comparative Jewish liturgy in general. The book includes a facsimile of one manuscript and a sample of the other, the full text of the Hebrew/Aramaic and Judeo-Persian Haggadah in Hebrew characters, as well as an English translation. Following a review of the community’s history, sources for study, and related scholarly work conducted to date, the languages used in the Haggadah and their backgrounds are discussed in detail. Analysis of the order of the service allows for comparison of the Kaifeng Jewish community’s recitation of the Passover liturgy, performance of ritual, and consumption of ceremonial food to other communities in the Jewish Diaspora.
The various parts and chapters of the book, including its extensive and meticulous annotations and bibliographical references, provide much fresh and useful material for scholars and readers interested in pre-modern Jewish, Judeo-Persian and Chinese literary traditions and cultures.
David Yeroushalmi, Tel Aviv University, 2015
This comparative study of the religious life of the Jewish communities of Kaifeng, China, and Cochin, India, contributes to our understanding the mechanisms by which a religion becomes acculturated into its environment. Borrowing the metaphor of foregrounding/backgrounding from Gestalt psychology, both the plasticity and tenacity of Judaism are emphasized.
THE K'AIFENG JEW CHAO YING-CH'ENG AND HIS FAMILY BY D. LESLIE In the T'oung Pao of 1920/21, Pelliot identified the Jew Ai, who visited Ricci in 1604 or 1605 and first told him (and the west) of
148 the existence in K'aifeng of a Jewish community, as Ai chü-jen of 1573. In 1920 also, Ch