Understanding the Uneven Reception of Rabbenu Tam’s Taqqanot
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In Jewish Self-Government in the Middle Ages, which first appeared nearly a century ago, Louis Finkelstein gathered a full range of super-communal taqqanot (ordinances) that were enacted in medieval Europe. The fourth chapter in the opening section analyzes the taqqanot produced by the rabbinic synods of northern France, with the bulk of this chapter focusing on those put forward by R. Jacob Tam (1100–1171) and his colleagues. In part 2 (“Texts and Translations”), Finkelstein devotes two full chapters to the taqqanot associated with Rabbenu Tam, and his substantive involvement in this area of legislation and the significance of his taqqanot have also been noted in contemporary scholarship.1¶ Although a number of Rabbenu Tam’s taqqanot were publicly promulgated and widely ratified and accepted, there are others whose impact and standing are more difficult to gauge. This study will take a close look at several taqqanot from among the latter group, which include aspects of Jewish-Christian relations and reflect different exegetical approaches taken by the Tosafists in northern Europe. The reasons behind the lesser impacts are a little different in each instance, but when taken together, these developments suggest that a careful look at the totality of the taqqanot attributed to Rabbenu Tam can yield additional new perspectives.
Kanarfogel, E. (2021). Understanding the Uneven Reception of Rabbenu Tam’s Taqqanot. In Ehud Krinis, Nabih Bashir, Sara Offenberg, and Shalom Sadik (eds.), "Polemical and exegetical polarities in Medieval Jewish cultures : studies in honour of Daniel J. Lasker" (pp. 437-466). Berlin : De Gruyter.
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