Regulating Emotion: Burial and Mourning of Children in Early Modern Ashkenaz

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This article addresses a lacuna in scholarship: the burial and mourning rites for premodern Jewish children’s deaths. I explore three genres of sources from western and central Europe: bylaws, custom books, and epitaphs. I argue that communal leaders regulated the process of grieving one’s children, marking those deaths in ways that are different from how an adult is memorialized. Nevertheless, by creating additional rites or by permitting parents to circumvent certain norms, communal leaders acknowledged and even facilitated more intense expressions of parental loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalJewish Social Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2024 The Trustees of Indiana University.


  • burial
  • children
  • death
  • early modern
  • Hevrah Kadishah

RAMBI Publications

  • RAMBI Publications
  • Jewish mourning customs -- History
  • Jewish children -- Death
  • Jews -- Germany -- Social life and customs -- 18th century
  • Burial laws (Jewish law)
  • Ashkenazim -- Social life and customs


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