3 2021

Natan Meir Lecture: The Cholera Wedding

Congregation Shir Tikvah invites the community to join us for this talk by Portland State University Professor Natan Meir on Wednesday, March 3rd at 7pm.

Natan Meir will explore the history and meaning of a peculiar ritual that emerged among East European Jews in the 19th century: to stop the spread of an epidemic, the community would marry its most vulnerable and marginalized members—orphans, beggars, and the disabled—to each other in a wedding held in the cemetery.

Drawing on various approaches from the fields of social and cultural history, anthropology, folklore, and cultural studies, Dr. Meir will explain why this ritual held such lasting appeal to ordinary Jews in Eastern Europe, to the extent that it spread to Ottoman Palestine and endured into the period of the Holocaust. The talk is illustrated by clips from the 1939 classic Yiddish film “The Light Ahead” (Fishke der Krumer).  

Natan M. Meir is the Lorry I. Lokey Chair in Judaic Studies at Portland State University.


Register at: for the Zoom link.

Sponsor: Congregation Shir Tikvah