ARTS1975H/JPHI4933H/JHIS4934: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts: Torah as Art in Medieval Ashkenaz
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Jewish illuminated manuscripts are among the treasured artifacts that have survived the trials of Jewish history and whose imagery provides a window into the Torah worldview of the Jews that commissioned them hundreds of years ago. The Leipzig Mahzor, produced in Worms, Germany in the 14th century, is a collection of piyyutim for holidays whose vibrant imagery reflect the teachings of the community’s famed rabbi, R. Eleazar of Worms, the preeminent student of R. Judah the Pious, who led the Hasidei Ashkenaz movement. This course will trace the origins and structure of the Jewish communities of the German Rhineland and will provide an overview of their unique teachings and customs related to prayer, repentance, biblical exegesis, and piety. Primary text readings will be complemented with visual studies of the imagery found in the Leipzig Mahzor which was used by the community of Worms on holidays in the synagogue. Images from other contemporaneous Jewish illuminated manuscripts will also be considered. The course will also address the process of writing and illuminating Jewish manuscripts, art and Jewish-Christian relations, and issues related to art and Halakhah.
Koenigsberg, Sima. (2021, Spring), Syllabus,ARTS1975H/JPHI4933H/JHIS4934: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts: Torah as Art in Medieval Ashkenaz, Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University.