Retrospect: What happened in 2021
Purity in Judaism: Teaching House ShUM, Online, April 11, 2021
Living Water and Spiritual Purity
Water can be understood as synonymous with Torah and God who is like a mikveh for Jews. Fountains, springs, living water feed the ritual baths (mikvaot). Jewish cemeteries usually have a tahara house for ritual washing of the deceased and preparation for burial. Tahara, ritual purity, and tumah, ritual impurity, are important concepts in Judaism. These concepts are still discussed, questioned, reinterpreted, adapted today. Monumental ritual baths and women's schools in Speyer and Worms or the Tahara House at the Holy Sand in Worms are architectural answers also to inner-Jewish discourses about ritual purity from the 12th century on. Today, Mikwaot in many places are also rooms for unmarried women or of female self-confidence.
Last but not least: in times of COVID-19 we all wash our hands often. In Judaism, there are ritual hand washings. Among other things, the hands are also doused with water after visiting the cemetery or before meals. For this purpose there is a special vessel with two handles.
On this very intersting Sunday morning discussed: Rabbi Prof. Dr. Elisa Klapheck (Frankfurt), Chasan Jalda Rebling (Berlin), Prof. Frank Stern (Vienna) and Rabbi Aron Ran Vernikovsky (Jewish Community Mainz). Moderation: Dr. Susanne Urban
After an introduction and cinematic examples by Prof. Frank Stern, the discussion was lively, controversial, from different perspectives, appreciative and open. There were exciting insights and equally exciting statements.
»The mikvah is a place of new beginnings. ... Is water still pure? Let's think about microplastics ... Many mikvahs no longer offer a spiritual experience.« (Elisa Klapheck).
»The Torah is the source of the mikveh. ... Purity - impurity is a duality like light and darkness, like the creation of the world and darkness. ... A mikveh is more important than a synagogue.« (Aron Vernikovsky)
»Passing on 'Joy to be a Jew'. ... Conquering a female space.« (Jalda Rebling)
»I'm not a religious person, although others would say otherwise, but as soon as I arrive in Israel, the first thing I do is go to the sea. That's my mikveh. ... A mikveh is a sensual place.« (Frank Stern)
In the end, everyone agreed with the idea: »Purity is an absolutely egalitarian approach, anyone and everyone, everyone can achieve this purity.«
Apps and digital offers
Digital possibilities to explore the unique ShUM-Sites
Discover and experience the innovative power of the three Jewish communities in Speyer, Worms and Mainz since the Middle Ages with the help of a free app (Google and Apple Store).
With the ShUM app, you can experience the monuments in the Judenhof in Speyer and the synagogue district, as well as the old Jewish cemetery Holy Sand in Worms. On the finish line to the hoped-for recognition of the ShUM Sites Speyer, Worms and Mainz as UNESCO World Heritage Sites at the end of July 2021, you can digitally experience the unique monuments and cemeteries in ShUM.
Different perspectives on Judaism - traditional, orthodox, liberal - and thought-provoking debates about the role of women, the Jewish community's reaction to the Crusades, or the special building forms in Worms and in the Judenhof Speyer open up in this app. You will be guided through the monuments and cemeteries in a playful, educational and definitely also with funny and touching moments.
In German and English (text and audio)!
Discover and experience the innovative power of the three Jewish communities in Speyer, Worms and Mainz in the exhibition at Rashi-House Worms, in the accompanying catalog and now also in the free app (Google and Apple Store).
The Exhibition: Exhibition and Audioguide
The catalogue is only in German.
Presentations by SchUM e.V.
As in the years before - apart from 2020, when the pandemic prevented almost everything - SchUM e.V. is present in 2021 with various lectures, at universities, at adult education centers, in Jewish communities. In March 2021 - always online - at the University of Bonn/Geographical Institute; also at the Jewish Community Wiesbaden. In April 2021 for the ZWST Youth and BBYO Partnership, with Jewish youth from different countries.
The Moreshet Network had its seminar in May 2021. In June there was an online lecture for the SMAC in Chemnitz. In July there was a face-to-face lecture in Speyer in cooperation with the Stadtarchiv/Kulturelles Erbe Speyer. On July 20, the audience of the Jewish Community Düsseldorf and the Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation Düsseldorf was introduced to the myth and reality of Worms - Jerusalem on the Rhine.
On September 23, Dr. Susanne Urban was again a guest, but this time live, at the smac in Chemnitz, on the occasion of the Chemitz Jewish Culture Days.
On September 24, there was the second hybrid event of Future for Religious Heritage, in which with Susanne Urban also the SchUM e.V. participated via a video contribution Video of the conference.
On September 27, supporting members of SchUM e.V. were guests at the Jewish Museum Worms and were given a guided tour of the ShUM exhibition.
Besuch in SchUM
2021 was also the year when slowly visitors came back to ShUM.
We were happy about each and everyone, but here some groups shall be introduced: a delegation of the Maison Rashi des Troyes and the tourism center of the department Aube-Champagne was already two weeks after the recognition of the SchUm sites as UNESCO World Heritage Site guest in Worms. A special connection between visitors and hosts, monuments and spaces was here the great scholar Rashi, who had studied at the Jewish teaching houses in Mainz and Worms in the 11th century. Further close cooperation is now being discussed.
On September 4, the Friends and Sponsors of the Jewish Museum Frankfurt traveled through Speyer and Worms, marveling at the time-honored monuments in Speyer, the Holy Sand Cemetery, and the synagogue and exhibition at the Jewish Museum Worms. Through the professional career of Susanne Urban, who had worked as a freelancer at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt for 20 years, old connections were refreshed. The chairman of the Friends, Werner D'Inka, as well as the former co-founder and chairman of the Circle of Friends, retired mayor Anderas von Schoeler, were impressed by the vitality of the ShUM Sites.