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Introduction to Old Yiddish Literature$
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Jean Baumgarten and Jerold C. Frakes

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276332

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199276332.001.0001

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Books of Morality and Conduct

Books of Morality and Conduct

Chapter:
(p.207) 8 Books of Morality and Conduct
Source:
Introduction to Old Yiddish Literature
Author(s):

Jean Baumgarten

, Jerold C. Frakes
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199276332.003.0008

Among the numerous types of Yiddish texts intended to inculcate moral values, to train individual conduct, and spread the study of Judaism, morality books (musor sforim) and conduct books (minhogim sforim) hold a place of great importance. The publication of these books of morality contributed to the religious moral education established by the guardians of the tradition with the twin goals that each Jew might acquire a more active and responsible faith and that the threat of ‘dejudaization’ might be halted. Jewish books of morals and conduct bear witness to an inner desire to codify behaviour. They also illustrate the development of a more ordered society whose subjects have internalized a multitude of strict norms having to do with collective comportment, halakhic practice, and Jewish customs.

Keywords:   morality books, conduct books, moral education, musor sforim, minhogim sforim, halakhic practice, codification

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