Description

The 1719 trial of two Jews from Brest (Brześć) accused of breaking into a Bernardine church and robbing a tomb of a prominent noble woman, raises questions of material possessions and religious boundaries. Among things stolen were clothes and textiles used in wrapping the coffin of the deceased woman. They were also one of the reasons that the robbery was discovered and the Jews were caught: some months following the robbery the daughters of the two Jewish robbers were spotted wearing dresses made of the stolen textiles. This case is certainly most notorious but it is not the only example of Jewish use of objects and textiles stolen from churches. Neither is Jewish use of "Christian" objects an example of one-directional transgression on religious boundaries and norms. Criminal records also show Christians stealing and wearing clothes that had been owned by Jews. This presentation is based predominantly on the Decree from the Lithuanian Tribunal but will be supplemented with excerpts from other trials as well.

This presentation is for the following text(s):

  • A Decree of the Lithuanian Tribunal concerning Jews in Brest (1719)
  • Responsum 86 Masa'at Binyamin and the Ordinances of the Council of Lithuania
  • Two criminal cases in the court of the city of Lublin (17th century)

Streaming Media

Event Website

http://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/emw/emw2007/

Start Date

21-8-2007 10:00 AM

Location

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

 
Aug 21st, 10:00 AM

Material Possessions and Religious Boundaries in Early Modern Poland

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

The 1719 trial of two Jews from Brest (Brześć) accused of breaking into a Bernardine church and robbing a tomb of a prominent noble woman, raises questions of material possessions and religious boundaries. Among things stolen were clothes and textiles used in wrapping the coffin of the deceased woman. They were also one of the reasons that the robbery was discovered and the Jews were caught: some months following the robbery the daughters of the two Jewish robbers were spotted wearing dresses made of the stolen textiles. This case is certainly most notorious but it is not the only example of Jewish use of objects and textiles stolen from churches. Neither is Jewish use of "Christian" objects an example of one-directional transgression on religious boundaries and norms. Criminal records also show Christians stealing and wearing clothes that had been owned by Jews. This presentation is based predominantly on the Decree from the Lithuanian Tribunal but will be supplemented with excerpts from other trials as well.

This presentation is for the following text(s):

  • A Decree of the Lithuanian Tribunal concerning Jews in Brest (1719)
  • Responsum 86 Masa'at Binyamin and the Ordinances of the Council of Lithuania
  • Two criminal cases in the court of the city of Lublin (17th century)

http://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/emw/emw2007/emw2007/11