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From its earliest days, Christianity has viewed Judaism and Jews ambiguously. Given its roots within the Jewish community of first-century Palestine, there was much in Judaism that demanded Church admiration and praise; however, as Jews continued to resist Christian truth, there was also much that had to be condemned. Major Christian thinkers of antiquity - while disparaging their Jewish contemporaries for rejecting Christian truth - depicted the Jewish past and future in balanced terms, identifying both positives and negatives. Beginning at the end of the first millennium, an increasingly large Jewish community started to coalesce across rapidly developing northern Europe, becoming the object of intense popular animosity and radically negative popular imagery. The portrayals of the broad trajectory of Jewish history offered by major medieval European intellectual leaders became increasingly negative as well. The popular animosity and the negative intellectual formulations were bequeathed to the modern West, which had tragic consequences in the twentieth century. In this book, Robert Chazan traces the path that began as anti-Judaism, evolved into heightened medieval hatred and fear of Jews, and culminated in modern anti-Semitism.
Friedrich Nietzsche occupies a contradictory position in the
history of ideas: he came up with the concept of a master race, yet
an eminent Jewish scholar like Martin Buber translated his Also
sprach Zarathustra into Polish and remained in a lifelong
intellectual dialogue with Nietzsche. Sigmund Freud admired his
intellectual courage and was not at all reluctant to admit that
Nietzsche had anticipated many of his basic ideas.
With the publication of The Origins of the Kabbalah in 1950, one of the most important scholars of our century brought the obscure world of Jewish mysticism to a wider audience for the first time. A crucial work in the oeuvre of Gershom Scholem, this book details the beginnings of the Kabbalah in twelfth- and thirteenth-century southern France and Spain, showing its rich tradition of repeated attempts to achieve and portray direct experiences of God. The Origins of the Kabbalah is a contribution not only to the history of Jewish medieval mysticism, but also to the study of medieval mysticism in general. Now with a new foreword by David Biale, this book remains essential reading for students of the history of religion.
A few years after its invention by James Naismith, basketball became the primary sport in the crowded streets of the Jewish neighborhood on New York's Lower East Side. Participating in the new game was a quick and enjoyable way to become Americanized. Jews not only dominated the sport for the next fifty-plus years but were also instrumental in modernizing the game. Barney Sedran was considered the best player in the country at the City College of New York from 1909 to 1911. In 1927 Abe Saperstein took over management of the Harlem Globetrotters, playing a key role in popularizing and integrating the game. Later he helped found the American Basketball Association and introduced the three-point shot. More recently, Nancy Lieberman played in a men's pro summer league and became the first woman to coach a men's pro team, and Larry Brown became the only coach to win both NCAA and the NBA championships. While the influence of Jewish players, referees, coaches, and administrators has gradually diminished since the mid-1950s, the current basketball scene features numerous Jews in important positions. Through interviews and lively anecdotes from franchise owners, coaches, players, and referees, The Chosen Game explores the contribution of Jews to the evolution of present-day pro basketball.
Justice for All demonstrates that the Jewish Bible, by radically changing the course of ethical thought, came to exercise enormous influence on Jewish thought and law and also laid the basis for Christian ethics and the broader development of modern Western civilization. Jeremiah Unterman shows us persuasively that the ethics of the Jewish Bible represent a significant moral advance over Ancient Near East cultures. Moreover, he elucidates how the Bible's unique conception of ethical monotheism, innovative understanding of covenantal law, and revolutionary messages from the prophets form the foundation of many Western civilization ideals. Justice for All connects these timeless biblical texts to the persistent themes of our times: immigration policy, forgiveness and reconciliation, care for the less privileged, and attaining hope for the future despite destruction and exile in this world.
In this illuminating volume, Dan Cohn-Sherbok traces the development of Jewish history from ancient times to the present day. Generously illustrated with over 100 maps and 24 black-and-white illustrations, the atlas details the central developments of the Jewish heritage. It is the first extensive, up-to-date atlas of Jewish history designed for students and the general reader. It is ideally suited for those taking courses in Jewish or Biblical Studies, serving as a handy reference guide as well as a textbook.
An essay on Black-Jewish relations, primarily in the United States, by a professor of African American History who became embroiled in controversy over his classroom use of a book detailing the well- documented Jewish role in the Atlantic slave trade.
The Jewish Onslaught discusses, among other things, the increasing attacks of Jewish organizations on Black leaders and scholars, the alleged halcyon period of a Black-Jewish alliance, the Jewish role in the slave trade and the Jewish attack on Afrocentrism.
The first major history of the scholarly quest to answer the question of Jewish origins The Jews have one of the longest continuously recorded histories of any people in the world, but what do we actually know about their origins? While many think the answer to this question can be found in the Bible, others look to archaeology or genetics. Some skeptics have even sought to debunk the very idea that the Jews have a common origin. In this book, Steven Weitzman takes a learned and lively look at what we know--or think we know--about where the Jews came from, when they arose, and how they came to be. Scholars have written hundreds of books on the topic and have come up with scores of explanations, theories, and historical reconstructions, but this is the first book to trace the history of the different approaches that have been applied to the question, including genealogy, linguistics, archaeology, psychology, sociology, and genetics. Weitzman shows how this quest has been fraught since its inception with religious and political agendas, how anti-Semitism cast its long shadow over generations of learning, and how recent claims about Jewish origins have been difficult to disentangle from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He does not offer neatly packaged conclusions but invites readers on an intellectual adventure, shedding new light on the assumptions and biases of those seeking answers--and the challenges that have made finding answers so elusive. Spanning more than two centuries and drawing on the latest findings, The Origin of the Jews brings needed clarity and historical context to this enduring and often divisive topic.
Over the last century, American Jews married outside their religion at increasing rates. By closely examining the intersection of intermarriage and gender across the twentieth century, Keren R. McGinity describes the lives of Jewish women who intermarried while placing their decisions in historical context. The first comprehensive history of these intermarried women, Still Jewish is a multigenerational study combining in-depth personal interviews and an astute analysis of how interfaith relationships and intermarriage were portrayed in the mass media, advice manuals, and religious community-generated literature. Still Jewish dismantles assumptions that once a Jew intermarries, she becomes fully assimilated into the majority Christian population, religion, and culture. Rather than becoming "lost" to the Jewish community, women who intermarried later in the century were more likely to raise their children with strong ties to Judaism than women who intermarried earlier in the century. Bringing perennially controversial questions of Jewish identity, continuity, and survival to the forefront of the discussion, Still Jewish addresses topics of great resonance in the modern Jewish community and beyond.
At least 8,000 Jewish soldiers fought for the Union and Confederacy during the Civil War. A few served together in Jewish companies while most fought alongside Christian comrades. Yet even as they stood "shoulder-to-shoulder" on the front lines, they encountered unique challenges.
In Jews and the Civil War, Jonathan D. Sarna and Adam Mendelsohn assemble for the first time the foremost scholarship on Jews and the Civil War, little known even to specialists in the field. These accessible and far-ranging essays from top scholars are grouped into seven thematic sections--Jews and Slavery, Jews and Abolition, Rabbis and the March to War, Jewish Soldiers during the Civil War, The Home Front, Jews as a Class, and Aftermath--each with an introduction by the editors. Together they reappraise the impact of the war on Jews in the North and the South, offering a rich and fascinating portrait of the experience of Jewish soldiers and civilians from the home front to the battle front.
In The Feminine Mystique, Jewish-raised Betty Friedan struck out against a postwar American culture that pressured women to play the role of subservient housewives. However, Friedan never acknowledged that many American women refused to retreat from public life during these years. Now, A Jewish Feminine Mystique? examines how Jewish women sought opportunities and created images that defied the stereotypes and prescriptive ideology of the "feminine mystique." As workers with or without pay, social justice activists, community builders, entertainers, and businesswomen, most Jewish women championed responsibilities outside their homes. Jewishness played a role in shaping their choices, shattering Friedan's assumptions about how middle-class women lived in the postwar years. Focusing on ordinary Jewish women as well as prominent figures such as Judy Holliday, Jennie Grossinger, and Herman Wouk's fictional Marjorie Morningstar, leading scholars from a variety of disciplines explore here the wide canvas upon which American Jewish women made their mark after the Second World War.
Janusz Korczak (1879-1942) is one of the legendary figures to emerge from the Holocaust. A successful pediatrician and well-known author in his native Warsaw, he gave up a brilliant medical career to devote himself to the care of orphans. Like so many other Jews, Korczak was sent into the Warsaw Ghetto after the Nazi occupation of Poland. He immediately set up an orphanage for more than two hundred children. Many of his admirers, Jewish and gentile, offered to rescue him from the ghetto, but Korczak refused to leave his small charges. When the Nazis ordered the children to board a train that was to carry them to the Treblinka death camp, Korczak went with them, despite the Nazis' offer of special treatment. His selfless behavior in caring for these children's lives and deaths has made him beloved throughout the world; he has been honored by UNESCO and commemorated on postage stamps in both Poland and Israel. Korczak's grimly inspiring ghetto diary is now available in paperback for the first time, accompanied by a new introduction by Betty Jean Lifton, the author of the biography of Korczak.
We all know about King David and King Solomon, but what about the kings Omri and Uzziah?
Of the more than fifty monarchs who sat on the throne of the Jews for over 1000 years, most of us can recall only a few. What we do remember about them has been colored by legend and embellishment. In Kings of the Jews, Norman Gelb tells us the real stories of them all. And in doing so, he reveals how a remarkably resilient people survived divisions, discord, and conquest to forge a vibrant identity that has lasted to the present day.
"Kings of the Jews" explores some of the most dramatic periods in Jewish history: those of the united Israelite kingdom under David and Solomon, the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the Babylonian exile, and the destruction of the Second Temple and the Roman conquest of Jerusalem.
With illustrations, maps, chronologies, and index.
Stories abound of immigrant Jews on the outside looking in, clambering up the ladder of social mobility, successfully assimilating and integrating into their new worlds. But this book is not about the success stories. It's a paean to the bunglers, the blockheads, and the just plain weird-Jews who were flung from small, impoverished eastern European towns into the urban shtetls of New York and Warsaw, where, as they say in Yiddish, their bread landed butter side down in the dirt. These marginal Jews may have found their way into the history books far less frequently than their more socially upstanding neighbors, but there's one place you can find them in force: in the Yiddish newspapers that had their heyday from the 1880s to the 1930s. Disaster, misery, and misfortune: you will find no better chronicle of the daily ignominies of urban Jewish life than in the pages of the Yiddish press. An underground history of downwardly mobile Jews, Bad Rabbi exposes the seamy underbelly of pre-WWII New York and Warsaw, the two major centers of Yiddish culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. With true stories plucked from the pages of the Yiddish papers, Eddy Portnoy introduces us to the drunks, thieves, murderers, wrestlers, poets, and beauty queens whose misadventures were immortalized in print. There's the Polish rabbi blackmailed by an American widow, mass brawls at weddings and funerals, a psychic who specialized in locating missing husbands, and violent gangs of Jewish mothers on the prowl-in short, not quite the Jews you'd expect. One part Isaac Bashevis Singer, one part Jerry Springer, this irreverent, unvarnished, and frequently hilarious compendium of stories provides a window into an unknown Yiddish world that was.
Don Isaac Abravanel (1437 1508) was a major historical figure during the waning of the Middle Ages. Statesman, diplomat, courtier, and financier, he was, at the same time, a scholar of encyclopedic learning, a philosopher, an exegete, a prolific author, a mystic, and an apocalyptist. In Abravanel, B. Netanyahu suggests, two long lines of tradition met and concluded: that of medieval Jewish statesmen and that of medieval Jewish philosophers. In what is both a biography and an exploration of Abravanel's thought and influence, Netanyahu describes how Abravanel illuminated the grave crisis and profound transformation experienced by the Jewish people after the Spanish expulsion. First published in 1953, Don Isaac Abravanel has been out of print for several years. This new edition includes revisions in the text, notes, and bibliography."
This book tells North Carolina's 400-year-old Jewish story. A sweeping chronicle of Jewish life in the Tar Heel State from colonial times to the present, this beautifully illustrated volume incorporates oral histories, original historical documents, and profiles of fascinating individuals. The first comprehensive social history of its kind, ""Down Home"" demonstrates that the story of North Carolina Jews is attuned to the national story of immigrant acculturation but has a southern twist. Keeping in mind the larger southern, American, and Jewish contexts, Leonard Rogoff considers how the North Carolina Jewish experience differs from that of Jews in other southern states. He explores how Jews very often settled in North Carolina's small towns, rather than in its large cities, and he documents the reach and vitality of Jewish North Carolinians' participation in building the New South and the Sunbelt. Many North Carolina Jews were among those at the forefront of a changing South, Rogoff argues, and their experiences challenge stereotypes of a society that was agrarian and Protestant. More than 125 historic and contemporary photographs complement Rogoff's engaging epic, providing a visual panorama of Jewish social, cultural, economic, and religious life in North Carolina. This volume is a treasure to share and to keep. Published in association with the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina, ""Down Home"" is part of a larger documentary project of the same name that will include a film and a traveling museum exhibition, to be launched in June 2010.
A memoir of coming of age and struggling to leave the USSR. Shrayer chronicles the triumphs and humiliations of a Soviet childhood and expresses the dreams and fears of a Jewish family that never gave up its hopes for a better life. Narrated in the tradition of Tolstoy's confessional trilogy and Nabokov's autobiography, this is a searing account of the KGB's persecution of refuseniks, a poet's rebellion against totalitarian culture, and Soviet fantasies of the West during the Cold War.
A philosophical case against religious violence We live in an age beset by religiously inspired violence. Terms such as "holy war" are the stock-in-trade of the evening news. But what is the relationship between holiness and violence? Can acts such as murder ever truly be described as holy? In Does Judaism Condone Violence?, Alan Mittleman offers a searching philosophical investigation of such questions in the Jewish tradition. Jewish texts feature episodes of divinely inspired violence, and the position of the Jews as God's chosen people has been invoked to justify violent acts today. Are these justifications valid? Or does our understanding of the holy entail an ethic that argues against violence? Reconstructing the concept of the holy through a philosophical examination of biblical texts, Mittleman finds that the holy and the good are inextricably linked, and that our experience of holiness is authenticated through its moral consequences. Our understanding of the holy develops through reflection on God's creation of the natural world, and our values emerge through our relations with that world. Ultimately, Mittleman concludes, religious justifications for violence cannot be sustained. Lucid and incisive, Does Judaism Condone Violence? is a powerful counterargument to those who claim that the holy is irrational and amoral. With philosophical implications that extend far beyond the Jewish tradition, this book should be read by anyone concerned about the troubling connection between holiness and violence.
At a time of heightened interest in Jewish supplementary schooling,
this volume offers a path-breaking examination of how ten diverse
schools have remade themselves to face the new challenges of the
twenty-first century. Each written by an academic observer with the
help of an experienced educator, the chapters bring these schools
vividly to life by giving voice to students, parents, teachers,
school directors, lay leaders, local rabbis and other key
"The Plot," which examines the astonishing conspiracy and the fabrication of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," has become a worldwide phenomenon since its hardcover publication, taught in classrooms around the globe. Purported to be the actual blueprints by Jewish leaders to take over the world, the "Protocols," first published in 1902, have become gospel truth to international millions. Presenting a pageant of historical figures from nineteenth-century Russia to today's ideologues, including Tsar Nicholas II, Henry Ford, and Adolf Hitler, Will Eisner unravels and dispels one of the most devastating hoaxes of the twentieth century.
John Hohenberg was at the United Nations on May 14, 1948, when Israel became an independent state and has followed its history closely ever since. His most recent book, Israel at 50: A Journalist's Perspective, traces this country's tumultuous path to national stability and its rocky relationship with the United States, the United Nations, and the Arab world. This book details the complex politics that distinguish Israel from its neighbors, observed by a journalist who has studied the country for five decades. Hohenberg describes the obstacles that the independent, self-governing Israeli state has overcome in the Middle East, the issues it still faces, and the role it continues to play as an American ally and a member of the United Nations.
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