Protocols of Justice (2 vol. set)
The Pinkas of the Metz Rabbinic Court 1771-1789
Jay R. Berkovitz, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Ed. BRILL, octobre 2014 ; 2 volumes ; ISBN13: 9789004265158 ; E-ISBN: 9789004265165

Presented here to the public for the first time, the Pinkas of the Metz Beit Din is the official register of civil cases that came before the Metz rabbinic court in the two decades prior to the French Revolution. Brimming with details of commercial transactions, inheritance disputes, women’s roles in economic life, and the interplay between French law and Jewish law, the Metz Pinkas offers remarkable evidence of the engagement of Jews with the surrounding society and culture. The two volumes of Protocols of Justice comprise the complete text of the Metz Pinkas Beit Din, which is fully annotated by the author, and a thorough analysis of its significance for history and law at the threshold of modernity.

Présenté ici au le public pour la première fois, le Pinkas du Beit Din de Metz est le registre officiel des affaires civiles qui sont venues devant le tribunal rabbinique Metz dans les deux décennies antérieures à la Révolution française. Présentant une foule de détails sur les transactions commerciales, les conflits de succession, le rôle des femmes dans la vie économique, et 'interaction entre le droit français et le droit juif, cet ouvrageoffre un témoignage remarquable de l'engagement des Juifs dans la société et la culture environnantes. Les deux volumes des Protocoles de la Justice comprennent le texte complet du Pinkas, qui est entièrement annoté par l'auteur, avec une analyse approfondie de son importance pour l'histoire et le droit au seuil de la modernité.

Through his painstaking and path-breaking treatment of this incredibly nuanced and rich text, Jay Berkovitz has placed before academics and all other interested readers a heretofore untapped resource of vast importance. His insightful and extensive introductory monograph beautifully sets the stage for scholars in a wide array of fields to mine this material, which will undoubtedly yield significant new results in the history of Jewish and non-Jewish society in eighteenth-century Europe and beyond. Ephraim Kanarfogel, E. Billi Ivry University Professor of Jewish History, Literature and Law, Yeshiva University

Protocols of Justice is a scholarly tour de force. Jay Berkovitz has not only brought to life a type of source that has been all but ignored in the study of Jewish life in Europe in the early modern period but offers a rich introduction that places the material in its historical context. This is a book that will stand the test of time and is a must for academic libraries. Edward Fram, Department of Jewish History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev/

Jay R. Berkovitz, Ph.D. (1983), Brandeis University, is Professor and Chair of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has published widely on the Jews in early modern Europe, including Rites and Passages: The Beginnings of Modern Jewish Culture in France, 1650-1860 (UPenn, 2004).


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