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Tamás Turán

Abstract

Research on Hebrew manuscript fragments retrieved from bookbindings started in the second half of the 19th century, some earlier forays into this field notwithstanding. Austria-Hungary played an important role in this field of research for its first hundred years – a fact that deserves attention. This pioneering research in Austria-Hungary was made possible by a recognition and appreciation of the importance of minor source materials (‘small finds’) by local scholars, and was characterized by a historical – rather than a literary-historical – interest in this source material. This article explores the particular historical and cultural factors which contributed to this regional development.

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Gennadiy Vinnitsa

Abstract

The resistance of the Jews of the Eastern Belarus to the Nazi genocide is a chapter of World War II history to which little attention has been paid. This article deals with the position and resistance of the Jewish population of the eastern regions of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR) to the Nazi genocide during the German occupation in 1941–1944. The material presented here is the first attempt towards a comprehensive coverage of the activities of Jews concentrated in places of isolation to resist Nazi actions against the Jewish population. Materials from Belarusian, Israeli, German and Russian archives have substantially supplemented data from the author’s personal archive.

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Ilona Steimann

Abstract

This article focuses on the requisite sacred objects utilized in the ceremony of the Jewry-oath in Christian Europe. The objects, upon which Jewry-oaths were taken, were crucial for the oaths’ validity, but their nature and materiality remained invisible in the relevant primary sources. On the basis of the only extant example of such an object, a Hebrew Pentateuch that survived together with a recently-discovered fifteenth-century Nuremberg Jewry-oath, the article addresses Jewish and Christian conceptions of the sacredness of material entities, and elucidates how these conceptions impinged upon the role of the objects in the oath-taking ceremony.

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Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow

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Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow