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Ritual Consecration in the Context of Writing the Holy Scrolls: Jews in Medieval Europe between Demarcation and Acculturation

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The objective of this article is to outline a hitherto neglected aspect of writing holy scrolls for ritual use, which in medieval Europe became a crucial subject of discussion: the ritual consecration of certain processes during the manufacturing of STaM with a special emphasis on writable skins. Taking into account Jewish and Christian sources, many of which have not been scrutinized to date, a paradox that perfectly reflects the ambivalent relationship of Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages will be revealed. On the one hand, the ritual sanctification can be read as an act of demarcation by which Jews drew a clear line between holy and profane—and Jews and non-Jews. On the other hand, it becomes evident that there was not only an artisanal exchange but a mutual interaction in terms of ritual and performance as well.


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