A View from 14th Century Toledo: Rabbi Asher, a German Émigré, Transforms the Legal Culture in Castile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, I explore the way in which a German émigré rose to the status of a cultural hero in Castile, Spain, and how his work of law became one of the three “pillars” of Jewish law. A survey of the Jewish legal landscape in medieval Spain during the fourteenth century reveals a shift in the status of one of the centers of Talmudic and legal (halakha) studies there as compared with the previous century. The fortune of the center in Toledo changed dramatically, and this change is traceable to the impact of one German émigré, Rabbi Asher ben Jehiel. Many scholars have examined Asher’s life and work. However, none have seriously analyzed the change he brought to the legal culture in Castile or examined the mechanism of how this occurred. This study describes Asher’s impact and attempts to expose the processes that brought about this transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1351
JournalReligions
Volume14
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the author.

Funding

The research for this study was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 2497/20).

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation2497/20

    Keywords

    • Ashkenaz
    • Jewish law
    • Joseph Karo
    • Maimonides
    • Toledo
    • codification
    • fourteenth century
    • medieval Spain
    • émigré

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'A View from 14th Century Toledo: Rabbi Asher, a German Émigré, Transforms the Legal Culture in Castile'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this