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Aron Freimann Lecture of Jewish Cultural History: "Reshaping the Early Modern Jewish World: Jewish Philanthropic Networks and the Rise of Sabbathean Messianism"

Adam Teller

The Aron Freimann Lecture is organized in cooperation with the Institute for Jewish Studies and the Cornelia Goethe Centre.

This lecture examines the seventeenth century development of the Jewish trans-regional network that supported Jews in the Land of Israel and its effects on the Jews’ social, economic, and religious lives.  Following the collapse of Polish-Jewish funding in the aftermath of the 1648 Khmelnytsky uprising, poverty in Jerusalem caused great suffering including a famine in which many women died. The search for new sources of income put increased pressure on the philanthropic network: the Ashkenazi women of Jerusalem tried to establish their own fundraising mechanism, while the men employed a kabbalist, Nathan Shapira, to collect for them. While in north-western Europe, Shapira met with millenarian Protestants who saw in the Jews’ sufferings a sign of the Messiah’s imminent return. When they sent money to Jerusalem, the community there – including the young Nathan of Gaza – was forced to reconsider its attitude towards them. Nathan had grown up in the post-1648 world of Jewish philanthropy and his use of trans-regional fundraising strategies gave the new Sabbathean messianism its global reach.

Adam Teller is Professor of History and of Judaic Studies at Brown University, Providence, USA

 

 

Veranstaltungsort: IG 411