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The Three BlessingsBoundaries, Censorship, and Identity in Jewish Liturgy$
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Yoel Kahn

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195373295

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195373295.001.0001

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Censorship in Medieval and Renaissance Liturgy

Censorship in Medieval and Renaissance Liturgy

(p.45) 5 Censorship in Medieval and Renaissance Liturgy
The Three Blessings

Yoel H. Kahn

Oxford University Press

Beginning as early as the mid-thirteenth century, the Church condemned the use of the word goy (gentile) in Jewish texts. For hundreds of years after, Jews engaged in negotiation, bribery and internal censorship with the goal of preserving their books from confiscation and burning. In the Morning Blessings, “who did not make me a goy,” was variously erased, replaced with a euphemism, or changed into a positive statement. This process began well before the Church began formalized censorship. Employing euphemisms and linguistic imagination, the censored texts often communicated subtle messages of spiritual resistance.

Keywords:   Censorship, euphemisms, Abraham Farissol, book burning, spiritual resistance

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