Back to issue
Cover of: The Right to Light: Jews, Christians and Shared Legal Practices in Medieval Ashkenaz
Rachel Furst, Sophia Schmitt

The Right to Light: Jews, Christians and Shared Legal Practices in Medieval Ashkenaz

Section: Articles
Volume 31 (2024) / Issue 2, pp. 136-159 (24)
Published 06.05.2024
DOI 10.1628/jsq-2024-0008
including VAT
  • article PDF
  • available
  • 10.1628/jsq-2024-0008
Due to a system change, access problems and other issues may occur. We are working with urgency on a solution. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Summary
Access to light and air, on the one hand, and the preservation of privacy, on the other, were highly sought after and frequently-contested commodities for both Jewish and Christian residents of increasingly crowded medieval towns. While the regulation of these rights according to Jewish law differed markedly from the approach of local German law, rabbinic responsa as well as archival materials demonstrate that Jews often embraced the legal practices of the majority when negotiating neighborly relations with both Christians and co-religionists. This article offers a close reading of such sources from the medieval German Empire, highlighting the knowledge and agency of both scholars and ordinary Jews, as well as the extent of their engagement with local legal culture.