chapter  9
17 Pages

Neighbors

Jews and Judaism in the Life of St Neilos the Younger
ByGiancarlo Lacerenza

In the general economy of the Bios, Jews and Judaism are, moreover, a rather recurring theme, probably to an extent that one would not expect in a text apparently not dealing directly with polemics or apologetics. When the Jews appear explicitly for the first time in the Bios, the climate is totally different. Neilos was already a respected monk and the scene takes place around 960 in Bisignano, a city that was also the homeland of the wise Proclos, one of his first disciples. The last references to the Jews in Neilos's Life can be found in the latter part of the text, in the dialogues he entertained with the monks of Montecassino. Dealing with the problem of fasting on Saturdays or Sundays, Neilos observes that if the miserable Jews converted, he would not mind if they fasted every Sunday.