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The Cholera Wedding: East European Jews’ Magical Ritual to End an Epidemic

ZOOM CONVOCATION pre-registration: register/tJEsfuChrjgsHtcvlWcQEctQHxVGkWIJf1Rn
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s):
Natan M. Meir

The talk explores the history and meaning of a peculiar ritual that emerged among East European Jews in the 19th century: to stop the spread of an epidemic, the community would marry its most vulnerable and marginalized members—orphans, beggars, and the disabled—to each other in a wedding held in the cemetery. Drawing on various approaches from the fields of social and cultural history, anthropology, folklore, and cultural studies, Natan Meir will explain why this ritual held such lasting appeal to ordinary Jews in Eastern Europe, to the extent that it spread to Ottoman Palestine and endured into the period of the Holocaust. 

Register here: register/tJEsfuChrjgsHtcvlWcQEctQHxVGkWIJf1Rn