Social Interactions in the Countryside
In Alsace during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Jews had extensive contacts with their Christian neighbors, which challenges Jacob Katz's claim that Jews and Christians had no communication whatsoever. The Alsatian countryside in fact constituted a shared space, where Jews and Christians lived side by side and interacted with each other every single day. The social interactions and relationships between them were informal. In addition, Jews and Christians could enter or work in one another's homes. A look at laws and actual cases indicates that both Jewish and Christian authorities tried to limit Jewish–Christian relations. The exchanges between Jewish and Christian neighbors in the Alsatian countryside is evident in a 1563 court case involving a Jewish mother and her sons living in Hagenau. Both Christian and Jewish leaders also prohibited social and sexual relationships between Jews and Christians.
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