¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Religious services in Stühlingen presumably differed little from that of other Jewish communities in Germany, taking the form of communal Torah reading and prayers “in the traditional manner” (nusach ashkenaz).55 But unfortunately decorum was not always maintained: Mausche Mayer got into a quarrel about a debt with Leib () in the synagogue and beat him bloody. Leib’s wife is fined for beating Mausche in the synagogue” . Another time, “Salomon Weil senior (R1.1.2) is fined for unlawfully shouting in the synagogue” , and “Menckhe Bloch ( is fined for bad conduct in the synagogue” . Finally, as of January 1, 1745, the Jews of Stühlingen lost their synagogue .
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 But social excesses could also be associated with celebrations outside the synagogue: “Lemann , Jecoff , Sannel , and Meierle are fined for throwing stones in windows, breaking drinking glasses, and other wantonness at the circumcision of Jägli Jew’s son” . Weddings too were an occasion for hijinks:
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 The following Jews are fined for leaving the common [overland] road when welcoming a newly arriving groom: Salamon Weyl, Marum’s son , Faisel Gugenheimb , Isac Bloch , Marx Bloch , Jonas Gugenheimb , Abraham Bloch , Isac Bolack, Seeligmann Gugenheimb , Marum Gugenheimb , Moyses Bloch , Schmule Weyl as their leader, Jacob Weyl) same.
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 The only surviving physical witness of Jewish religious observation in Stühlingen is the cushion cover of the Eliah chair for the circumcision of Lehemann Weil’s () son. It is the property of the Swiss National Museum and exhibited in the Jewish Museum of Switzerland in Basel.56 It measures about twenty-six by twenty-seven inches and is beautifully dyed and embroidered with the traditional blessings. The picture in the central medallion suggests a Purim scene, with the Hebrew letters תב”ץ corresponding to the year 492 in the short notation. Although the order of numerals does not correspond to the standard Hebrew notation, it matches the Yiddish diction (units before decimals). The circumcision, therefore, probably took place on March 11, 1732, and the child, therefore, was born on March 3.
¶ 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 The medallion is surrounded by a Hebrew inscription: “This belongs to Jehudah, son of the leader and guide, Parnas and chairman, the honourable Maharam Stühlingen [Weil], and his [!Lehmann’s] wife Reichel, daughter of the leader and guide, the honourable Jacob Lengnau [Gugenheim], Switzerland.” Given the proliferation of honorifics in the prose, the cover was probably created by Maharam’s wife. In the explanation accompanying the exhibit the word ‘מהרם’ (Maharam) had been misread as ‘מהר”ם’ (abbreviation for “Our Teacher the Rabbi Meir”). The cemetery register of Lengnau and Endingen lists only one son of Jehuda (Lehmann) Weil – Izchak (January. 29, 1738 – February. 19, 1823).57 Since his circumcision would not have fallen on Purim, this cushion cover was probably not intended for him. Judah (Lehmann) Weil died on June 28, 1788, aged seventy-nine, and his wife Rahel (Reichel) on November. 9, 1783, both in Lengnau.58
55Lowenstein, “The Jewish Cultural Tapestry,” 81–91; Elbogen, “Der jüdische Gottesdienst,” 493–510.
56Rapp Buri, “Jüdisches Kulturgut,” 302.
57JFEL-II, grave 42.
58Ibid., graves 45, 52.