Through a linguistic analysis of the Hebrew Lord's Prayer, this article endeavors to reach a new understanding of the function of this text in the lives of its users, concluding that the ninth-century Carolingian writer/translator meant for this text to be sung aloud. This article goes back to the basics of textual research—philology and language study—in order to determine the correct historical framework through which to understand this much-debated text, thus adding to our understanding of the religious life and practice of the nuns of Essen at the polyglottic crossroads of Latin and German, Hebrew and Greek. This paper is also an invitation for future studies to continue its effort to rewrite the history of Hebrew in the church, for historians to broaden their toolbox, and for linguists and philologists to contribute their insights to other fields.
Summary This article focuses on a chapter in a manual on circumcision written in Worms in the thirteenth century by Jacob and Gershom haGozrim (the circumcisers). The third chapter of the manual contains medical instruction on how to attend to women in labour and other gynaecological conditions. Whereas the first two chapters of the manual were published in the late nineteenth century, the midwifery chapter has only been recently examined. This article is comprised of a translation of the midwifery text(s) along with an introduction to the text and the community practices it reflects. It outlines the cooperation between medical practitioners, male and female, Jewish and Christian, and discusses the medical remedies recommended and some practices current in thirteenth-century Germany.
In recent years, pre-modern beds have generated extensive scholarly interest. Their social, religious, and economic importance has been rightfully highlighted in the study of domestic piety. Yet, concern has primarily focused on beds in late medieval English homes. This essay uses Hebrew texts from thirteenth-century Southern Germany, primarily Sefer Hasidim, to further this analysis of the role of the bed in shaping medieval domestic devotion. Jewish notions about the social, moral, and sexual significance of the bed reflect those identified in late medieval Christian culture. These ideas inspired numerous rituals practiced in Jewish homes. Yet, the bed and the remnants of sex assumed to be found in it also frustrated Jewish attempts to perform domestic devotion. These findings highlight the complicated nature of the home and how medieval people had to navigate both its opportunities and challenges in order to foster a rich culture of domestic devotion.