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Third-party-funded project

The "Cultural Memory" of the "Wuerzburg Jewish Stones" on a European-scale

Project management at the University of Würzburg:

Participating scientists:

1.The 1508 medieval gravestones from Würzburg range from 1129 and 1346.
The inscriptions mirror the self-estimate and the scale of values of a
medieval Jewish community for more than 200 years. This "cultural memory"
is to be displayed, coordinated with the classical Jewish literature of
tradition and compared on a European scale.
1.1. The references of the gravestones to the Jewish tradition (Bible,
Bible comment, Talmud, Siddur), shall be revealed in detail.
1.2. The self-administration of the medieval Jewish community shall be
pursued by naming the offices mentioned on the stones and it shall be
explained halachically.
1.3. The intellectual profile of the community shall be worked out in
its development with the help of technical terms of the Jewish school
system (rabbi, Chaver, Bachur) and tested by the classical requirements
of the Jewish literature of tradition.
1.4. The enormous paleographic range shall be used on the basis of dated
gravestones to determin the dates which have broken away.
1.5. Digitalization of the photos produces by EDP - supported
maneuverability shall result in composing additional gravestone fragments.
2. Our research team is convinced of coping with the tasks within two
2.1. We are going to support the work of Mr Rami Reiner, a highly
qualified expert for the medieval literature of tradition. The primary
objective is to understand the very difficult (often hidden) references to
the Bible, Bible comment, Talmud, Halacha and Siddur. For this end the
entire medieval literature of Judaism must be screened (comp.
Schut-Projekt in Bar Ilan, Tel Aviv).
2.2. Stone fragments the dates of which have broken away shall be again
dated by the help of experts from the department of manuscripts of the
National Library in Jerusalem.
2.3. Part of our work must be done in Germany, where the stones are
stored, another part of it in Israel, where any books are available in
the National Library.
3. The archeological material of the "Würzburg Jewish stones" is unique
and completely new. Till now it has never been possible to follow up for
two centuries "the cultural memory" awarded to itself by a medieval Jewish
community and to compare it within the European context.

Key words:
    Cultural Memory

Projekt period: from 01.2003 to 12.2004

Funding institution:
Sonstige Stiftung ( German Israeli Foundation )

Preceding project:
siehe BE006_Tombstones