Re: Toponymic Names #general


Judith Romney Wegner
 

At 1:29 AM -0400 9/8/06, Joseph Fibel wrote:
I commend to all Genners the excellent book called The Memoirs of Glueckel
of Hameln, published by Schocken. Glueckel was born in 1645-she died in
1724, She wrote her memoirs in 7 books over a period of several years. She
wrote them in Judeo German, that is, in German words but in Hebrew
characters. The first English version was only published in 1920.
To me, one of the most interesting things about Glueckel's memoirs is
that whereas the author goes into great detail describing births,
marriages and deaths, she never (so far as i recall) so much as
mentions a boy becoming a bar mitzvah. This would seem to indicate
that in her time (at least in Hameln) there was as yet no customary
celebration of this event. Of course there is no halakhic
requirement of such a celebration; but I don't think Glueckel ever
comments on one of her sons being called to the Torah for the first
time or even on their having reached the age of obligation to observe
the mitzvot. I am wondering whether anyone can point us to firm
documentary evidence of bar mitzvah celebrations taking place
anywhere else in Glueckel's time.

If such celebrations were taking place elsewhere, I wonder why not
in Hameln? (Anyone who has read the book would agree that given the
minute detail she goes into about other life-cycle events in her
family, she would surely have at least mentioned one or two bar
mitzvah ceremonies if such were customary in her time and place.)

Judith Romney Wegner

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