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Tiferet Bahurim: A Reading Proposal

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Chapter Summary

The title of the work, Tiferet Bahurim, attests to its starting point: a positive presentation of youth and of the years preceding marriage as a period that can be associated with tiferet [glory] and praise. Tiferet Bahurim is available in manuscript in the Bodleian Library, catalogued as Reggio 33. The religious authority of the Ferrara community is noticeable in disputes within local Jewish communities in the Ferrara area, when the parties recurrently turned to Ferrara rabbis, as did rabbis from other central communities in Northern Italy. The Jewish reaction, however, definitely went beyond rejecting or submitting to conversion pressures, just as open confrontation and hostility is not the signifi cant context for understanding the deep cultural dialogue between Jews and Christians during the Counter-Reformation, in Ferrara in particular and in Italy in general.

Keywords: Counter-Reformation; Ferrara community; Northern Italy; Tiferet Bahurim



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