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Published on Monday, May 14, 2012


International Conference about Minhagim: custom and practice in jewish life, in Tel Aviv.


Minhagim: custom and practice in jewish life, International Conference, Tel Aviv University, May 13-16, 2012


Sunday, May 13

Cymbalista Jewish Heritage Center, Tel Aviv University

17:00-19:00 Opening Session

Chair: Simha Goldin


  • Micaela Goren Monti (The Cukier, Goldstein-Goren Foundation)
  • Olivier Tourny (Centre de Recherche Français à Jérusalem)
  • Hannah Naveh (Dean of the Yolanda and David Katz Faculty of the Arts, Tel Aviv University)
  • Eyal Zisser (Dean of the Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities, Tel Aviv University)

Keynote Address

  • Moshe Idel (Hebrew University, Jerusalem): The Mystical Background of the Custom of Some Gestures in the Qedushah
  • Musical Interlude: Eitz Chaim Choir
  • Exhibition of Mapot of Belfort, France

Monday, May 14

Drachlis Hall, Gilman 496, Tel Aviv University

08:30-10:30 Minhag, Halacha, and Law

Chair: Jeremy Cohen

  • Hila Ben-Eliyahu (Hebrew University, Jerusalem): Conflict of Laws and the 16th century Minhagim
  • Ira Bedzow and Michael Broyde (Emory University, Atlanta): The Role of Custom in the Jurisprudence of the Mishna Berura
  • Amir Mashiach (University Center of Samaria, Ariel): Anthropocentric Halakhic Rulings and their Influence on the Minhag: Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach as a Case Study
  • Joseph Isaac Lifshitz (Shalem Center, Jerusalem): What is Bad in Bad Custom?

10:30-11:00 Break

  • David Shyovitz (Northwestern University, Evanston): Narrative, Theology, and Minhag: The Case of Kaddish Yatom
  • David M. Feuchtwanger (Hebrew University, Jerusalem): Reflections on the Political Philosophy Behind the Custom

11:00-13:30 Piyyut and Liturgy: Minhag in the Synagogue

Chair: Tova Be'eri

  • Ariel Zinder (Hebrew University, Jerusalem): The Ma'amadot of Elul – Between Piyyut, Minhag and Halacha
  • Sara Offenberg (Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva): Law and Order of Work: Text, Image and Practice in the Seder Avodah in the London Miscellany
  • Annette Weber (Hochschule für Jüdische Studien, Heidelberg): The Ritual of Yizkor in Ashkenazic Synagogues since the Middle Ages
  • Eli Gurfinkel ( BAR-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan): Practices of Expressing the Thirteen Principles of Faith as Theological Decrees
  • Boaz Huss (Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva): "Even if one does not know what he says": On the History and Cultural Significance of the Ritualistic Reading of the Zohar

13:30-15:00 Break

15:00-17:30 Dissemination of Minhag Through Books and Images

Chair: Naomi Feuchtwanger-Sarig

  • Marc Michael Epstein (Vassar College, Poughkeepsie): Visual Culture Made Manifest: From Depiction to Performance
  • Lucia Raspe (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt): How Italian are the Yiddish Minhagim of 1589?: A Reassessment
  • Jean Baumgarten (CNRS, EHESS, Paris): The Sefer Minhagim (Venice 1593) and its Diffusion in the Ashkenazi World
  • Avriel Bar-Levav (Open University, Raanana): Customs of Death in Books and in Reality
  • Efraiym Yaacov (Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan): The Influence of the Printed Book on Yemenite Customs

17:30-18:00 Break

18:00-20:30 The Community and Creation of Minhag

Chair: Eric Zimmer

  • Ephraim Kanarfogel (Yeshiva University, New York): "Fulfilling all Views" as a Means of Establishing Custom and Practice in the Writings of R. Meir of Rothenburg
  • Noga Bing (Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva): Tikkun Shovavim
  • Adiel Kadari (Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva): Customs in Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer: The Case of Havdalah

20:30-22:00 Visit to the Gross Family Collection

Tuesday, May 15

Drachlis Hall, Gilman 496, Tel Aviv University

08:30-10:30 Folklore and Local Customs

Chair: Benjamin Arbel

  • Anca Ciuciu (University of Bucharest): The Image of Purim in Interwar Bucharest
  • Shira Klein (New York University): Keeping It in the Family: Italian Jewish Customs in the Interwar Period
  • Massimo Torrefranca (IDC, Herzliyah): "Twixt Tripoli, Rome, and Tel Aviv: The Libyan Jews" «Besisa» as a Means of Communal Identification
  • David Bunis (Hebrew University, Jerusalem): The Preoccupation with Sephardic Customs in the Current Judezmo (Ladino) Media

10:30-11:00 Break

11:00-13:00 Gender Perspectives

Chair: Hannah Naveh

  • Merav Schnitzer (Tel Aviv University): Rituals of Feminine Care and the Rules of the Sages: The Halachic Discussion of Ashkenaz
  • Aliza Lavie (Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan): Women's Prayer
  • Evelyn Cohen (Columbia University, New York): The Ritual Observance of Women as Seen in Illuminated Hebrew Manuscripts from Renaissance Italy
  • Michal Ben Ya'akov (Efrata College, Jerusalem): Widows in a Traditional Jewish Society: Tensions and Challenges
  • Hannah Mayne (University of Florida): The Influence of Feminism on Halachic Practice: A Visual Exploration of Women who have Chosen to Perform the Ritual Practice of Talit and Tefilin

13:30-15:00 Break

15:00-17:00 Objects and Custom

Chair: William Gross

  • Orit Shamir and Naama Sukenik (Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem): Qumran Textiles and the Garments of Qumran's Inhabitants Compared to the Jewish Society Around Them
  • Ephraim Nissan (University of London): Jewish Customs and the Festive Calendar in Relation to Baghdadi Vernacular Housing
  • Ariella Amar (Center for Jewish Art, Hebrew University): Living in Secret: Veiled Objects and Customs of the Jews of Mashhad
  • Felicia Waldman (University of Bucharest): Tombstone Art in Romanian Moldova and Bukovina

17:00-17:30 Break

17:30-19:30 Zohar, Kabbalah, Hassidism, and Mysticism

Chair: Ron Margolin

  • Lihi Habas (Hebrew University, Jerusalem): The Use of Amulets in the Jewish Community of Late Antiquity in the Land of Israel: A Glass Pendant from the Hecht Collection as a Test Case
  • Morris Faierstein (Independent scholar, Rockville): The Zohar in the Brantshpigl (1596): The Influence of the Zohar on Early Modern Popular Jewish Customs and Practices
  • Gadi Sagiv (Hebrew University, Jerusalem): Hok LeIsrael and Eastern European Hasidim
  • Shaul Regev (Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan): Customs Renewed by R. Yosef Haim (Ben Ish Hai) in Iraq: Halacha and Kabbala

Wednesday, May 16

Centre de recherche Français à Jérusalem (3 Shimshon St., Jerusalem)

10:00-12:30 Life Cycle Events

Chair: Shalom Sabar

  • Noa Sophie Kohler (Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva): Music as a Sign of Change: Joyful Occasions and Early Modern German Jews
  • Tali Berner (Tel Aviv University): Children and Life Cycle Rituals in Early Modern Ashkenaz
  • Ephraim Shoham (Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva): The Life and Death of Kidor: Exploring the Rite of Circumcising a Mamzer in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
  • Ya'acov Sarig (Open University, Raanana): Demons in the Yemenite Life Cycle: Folk Beliefs and Customs of Avoidance
  • Svetlana Amosova (European University, St. Petersburg): "A Child is Born": Notes on Jewish Birthing Traditions in Ukraine of the 20th Century

12:30-14:00 Break

14:00-16:00 Mourning Customs

Chair: Shmuel Glick

  • Michael Avioz (Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan): Funerary Rites as Reflected in Josephus' Jewish Antiquities
  • Michal Ephratt (University of Haifa): "Minute of Silence": A Conceptual Model of an Israeli Ritual
  • Allan Amanik (New York University): "Because it is a Comfort...that He Should Rest with His Fathers": Family Burial and the Restructuring of New York's Jewish Communal Order, 1850-1859
  • Amy Weiss (New York University): To Plant Is To Remember: American Jewish Tree Planting Campaigns for Holocaust Memorials

16:30-17:30 Visit to the Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art, Hechal Shlomo (58 King George St., Jerusalem)

17:30-19:30 The Scope of Minhag: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform –

Roundtable Discussion (Congregation Moreshet Yisrael (4 Agron St. ,Jerusalem)

Moderator: Aviad HaCohen

  • Musical Interlude: Ahuva Tamar Batz
  • David Golinkin (Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies)
  • Michael Meyer (Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati)
  • Daniel Sperber (Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan)


  • Tel Aviv (Israël)


  • Sunday, May 13, 2012
  • Monday, May 14, 2012
  • Tuesday, May 15, 2012
  • Wednesday, May 16, 2012


  • Jewish, customs, practice

Information source

  • Aurélie Flamant
    courriel : aflamant [at] msh-paris [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Minhagim: custom and practice in jewish life », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Monday, May 14, 2012, https://calenda.org/208529

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