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The Individual And The Family

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Chapter Summary

The total loss of Jewish internal documentation, private and public, and the absence of rabbinical literature, such as responsa, limits the ability to trace some aspects of the internal and private life of Sicilian Jews. In many ways, the mediaeval Sicilian Jew differed from his Jewish contemporaries, particularly in Christian Europe. The core of Judaeo-Sicilian society was the family (for that matter also elsewhere in mediaeval times). It was founded on marriage, sanctified by tradition and ritual, yet anchored in material interests and social considerations. The Jewish home was not only the place where cloth and fabric were made but also where much (there is no telling how much) of the clothes Jews (and others) wore were manufactured. Foreign embroidery, from Mainland Italy, France, Spain and elsewhere were in use by rich Jewish women.

Keywords: Christian Europe; Jewish home; Judaeo-Sicilian society; Sicilian Jews

10.1163/ej.9789004186545.i-12446.83
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