The most striking difference between the Sefer Minhagim manuscript and Christian texts is the oppressed make no direct mention of the oppressor in their texts whereas oppressor mentions the oppressed on various occasions.  The Christian texts do their best to depict Jews as barbaric (circumcision) or rude (women talking during services).  Christians appear perfect in comparison to the Jews.  The Jewish texts do not directly mention Christians or draw parallels between the two religious practices.  However, the Sefer Minhagim manuscript does recount the historic persecution and suffering of the Jewish people and draws parallels to the present persecution.  This difference is important because I believe it points to the reality that the oppressed’s ever action is tied up with the oppressor, making it unnecessary for the oppressed to depict them directly.  Whereas the oppressor, unaware of their freedom and privilege, has a story apart from the oppressed and thus uses parts of their texts to further attack and ridicule the oppressed.    

Katelyn Kiner 2017

image source: Wikimedia


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