Jews in European culture
in The Jews in western Europe 1400–1600
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The extracts from the authentic Jewish preaching of the period, in Spain and Italy, are set alongside papal attempts to protect, for reasons described in the relevant texts, the continuance of rabbinical scholarship in early sixteenth-century Italy. In view of the history of Jewish residence in a variety of western European countries, it was inevitable that Jews would acquire a wide range of linguistic skills. It is undeniable that there was a tendency for Jewish communities to take on the cultural characteristics of the countries in which they lived. This was particularly true of the Iberian Jews who took their languages into exile after 1492 and 1497 respectively, thus creating what is today known as Ladino, and northern European Jews who gave the world the Yiddish language, based on medieval German.

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