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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the book Protocols of Justice: The Pinkas of the Metz Rabbinic Court 1771-1789 presents an overview of how the other chapters in the book are organized. The book considers the challenges of using rabbinic court records as an historical source, distinguishing between what one can learn from the law about social and cultural history. It examines closely the internal workings of the Beit Din and explores the court's complicated task as a communal agency. The book places the Beit Din within the larger framework of legal traditions that evolved in France during the late medieval and early modern periods. It examines the Beit Din's approach to the overlapping jurisdictions of Jewish and French law. The book presents an extended examination of the legal issues facing the Beit Din in relation to women and family.

Keywords: Beit Din; France; French law; Jewish law; late medieval period; Metz rabbinic court; Pinkas; protocols of justice; women



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