The Synagogue in Provence: A Social Institution in the High Middle Ages

Shlomo H . Pick A . Evidence of Synagogues in Southern France As throughout the Diaspora , in medieval Provence , which included Roussillon , Bas-Languedoc , Comtat Venaissin , and Comte de Provence , the synagogue was one of the important community institutions . Usually , the synagogue was among the first buildings erected by the organized community and served as a house of worship , center of learning , public meeting house , and as a means to confirm one's social place within Jewish society . Provencal rabbinic literature and Hebrew sources reflect all of these uses . However , before turning to rabbinic sources , one should note some of the archaeological evidence of Provencal synagogues . Most of the synagogues of the medieval period did not survive until the modern age , for expulsions , anti-Semitism , as well as conflagrations , were the enemies of the synagogue , and hence , only a handful survived . In southern France , only those synagogues in * This essay is based upon a n...  אל הספר
הוצאת אוניברסיטת בר אילן