Men’s jewelry in medieval Jewish society: Nahmanides’ approach

Shalem Yahalom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It follows that the widespread norm among men in Jewish communities in the middle ages was to adorn oneself with jewelry. In this manner, they conducted themselves as was the wont in general society. It is reasonable to assume that the average person did not bother himself with the matter of permissibility according to Jewish law, but Jewish sages did deal with it. R. Tam assumed that the norms of general society applied to Jewish society as well. Nahmanides, on the other hand, objected to men’s jewelry in principle and viewed wearing it as permissive and inappropriate since it negates the essence of masculinity. In reality, Nahmanides accepted the hierarchic norms of general society, but was careful to wear only a simple signet ring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-77
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Medieval Iberian Studies
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Jewish law
  • Nahmanides
  • Sumptuary laws
  • medieval jewish society
  • men’s jewelry

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