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In the eighteenth century, Jewish Amsterdam was dominated by religion. The parnassim (governors) strictly abided by the rules of Judaism. The Ashkenazi Jewish community judged small religious offences itself. The prohibition of sjetenes, kosher food and begging were all part of religious disciplinary. Applying excommunication as the ultimate sanction, the parnassim maintained the internal order.

Tsila Rädecker has studied the underlying motvation and goals of the disciplinary rules. She thus provides a fascinating view of daily life in 18th century Jewish Amsterdam, in which Judaism and jurisdiction were entwined. This publication is an adaptation of her master thesis, which won the 13th Hartog Beem Prize in 2011. This prize was awarded by the Commission for the History and Culture of Jews in the Netherlands, in cooperation with the Menasseh ben Israel Institute.

The publication will appear in 2012 as the eighth edition in the “Menasseh ben Israel Institute Studies” series.