Sylvie-Anne Goldberg, EHESS-Paris, gave a talk entitled, Yizkor: Communal Memory in the Middle Ages.
During the Middle Ages, the Jews of Europe developed memorial techniques that enabled them to overcome the loss of their dead: lists of the community's dead to be recited especially at major holidays or on the anniversary of disasters. They also elaborated a commemorative liturgy, inscribed in rituals that persisted for centuries, through which they were able to transcend time and history. This lecture will describe these memorial techniques, developed especially in response to the Crusades, through several examples drawn from liturgical texts that have been handed down from the 12th or 13th century to our days.
Sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program and Medieval Studies Program.