Jewish Martyrdom without Persecution: The Murder of Gumpert May, Frankfurt am Main, 1781

Edward Fram, Verena Kasper-Marienberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Sometime in the afternoon of Wednesday, August 22, 1781, in one of the narrow houses along the Jewish lane (Judengasse) in Frankfurt am Main, Gumpert (Gumperz, in Hebrew sources, Gumpel) Aaron May (Mai) prepared himself to go out to attend to some business matters. Like many of his contemporaries involved in trade, Gumpert's business activities did not focus on just one line of work; he did his best to turn a profit in a number of ways, including selling wine and lending money at interest. Gumpert, who was in his thirties or perhaps even early forties, wore underneath his shirt a fringed garment (á°"iá°"it, see Num. 15:37-41), as religious custom obligated Jewish males to do. His green jacket had silver clasps and his partially bald pate was covered by a wig with two curls in the back, topped by a hat. His elegant appearance made it clear to all observers that he was from a well-situated family, and that he had adopted some of the modes of contemporary fashion. Indeed, Gumpert came from what would soon be, if it was not already, one of the wealthiest Jewish families in Frankfurt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-301
Number of pages35
JournalAJS Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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