"As a piece of scholarship . . . Rituals of Childhood is impeccable. . . . As a piece of anthropological reconstruction it makes for compelling reading."-Haim Chertok, Jerusalem Post Literary Supplement "An important work, both instructive and entertaining. Marcus presents new information and ideas that can be enjoyed by the general reading public as well as scholars in the field of Judaica. . . . This work is well written, thoughtful, and fascinating."-James Seaver, History: Reviews of New Books "An extremely important landmark in the scholarly study of Jewish-Ashkenazic folklore . . . an exemplary, classic work."-Israel Ta-Shma, The Jewish Quarterly Review In this novel interpretation of the initiation rite of Jewish boys beginning their religious schooling, Ivan G. Marcus presents a new anthropological historical approach to Jewish culture and acculturation in medieval Christian Europe. Marcus shows how Jews polemically transformed Christian religious symbols into Jewish counterimages to affirm the truth of Judaism and make sense of living in an intensely Christian culture.