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Cursing the Christians? – A History of the Birkat HaMinim - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Cursing the Christians?: A History of the Birkat HaMinim

Ruth Langer


The birkat haminim is a prayer in the weekday Jewish liturgy for the removal of those categories of humans who prevent messianic redemption. Its earliest known texts, themselves medieval, curse apostates (to Christianity), sectarians, Christians, enemies of Israel, and the insolent empire. Jewish sources place the origin of the prayer in the late first century, in response to an ambiguous group challenging rabbinic authority. Some Church Fathers knew of the prayer and complained that Jews were cursing Christians. The origins of this prayer, were they knowable, should illuminate early Christian ... More

Keywords: Jewish-Christian relations, Christian-Jewish relations, birkat haminim, censorship, curse, prayer, liturgy, polemics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199783175
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199783175.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ruth Langer, author
Boston College