At the beginning of the eighteenth century most European Jews lived in restricted settlements and urban ghettos, isolated from the surrounding dominant Christian cultures not only by law but also by language, custom, and dress. By the end of the century urban, upwardly mobile Jews had shaved their beards and abandoned Yiddish in favor of the languages of the countries in which they lived. They began to participate in secular culture and they embraced rationalism and non-Jewish education as supplements to traditional Talmudic studies. The full participation of Jews in modern Europe and America would be unthinkable without the intellectual and social revolution that was the Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment. Unparalleled in scale and comprehensiveness, The Jewish Enlightenment reconstructs the intellectual and social revolution of the Haskalah as it gradually gathered momentum throughout the eighteenth century. Relying on a huge range of previously unexplored sources, Shmuel Feiner fully views the Haskalah as the Jewish version of the European Enlightenment and, as such, a movement that cannot be isolated from broader eighteenth-century European traditions. Critically, he views the Haskalah as a truly European phenomenon and not one simply centered in Germany. He also shows how the republic of letters in European Jewry provided an avenue of secularization for Jewish society and culture, sowing the seeds of Jewish liberalism and modern ideology and sparking the Orthodox counterreaction that culminated in a clash of cultures within the Jewish community. The Haskalah's confrontations with its opponents within Jewry constitute one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of the dramatic and traumatic encounter between the Jews and modernity. The Haskalah is one of the central topics in modern Jewish historiography. With its scope, erudition, and new analysis, The Jewish Enlightenment now provides the most comprehensive treatment of this major cultural movement.
In Leaves from the Garden of Eden, Howard Schwartz, a three-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award, has gathered together one hundred of the most astonishing and luminous stories from Jewish folk tradition. Just as Schwartz's award-winning book Tree of Souls collected the essential myths of Jewish tradition, Leaves from the Garden of Eden collects one hundred essential Jewish tales. As imaginative as the Arabian Nights, these stories invoke enchanted worlds, demonic realms, and mystical experiences. The four most popular types of Jewish tales are gathered here--fairy tales, folktales, supernatural tales, and mystical tales--taking readers on heavenly journeys, lifelong quests, and descents to the underworld. There is a dybbuk lurking in a well, a book that comes to life, and a world where Lilith, the Queen of Demons, seduces the unsuspecting. Here too are Jewish versions of many of the best-known tales, including "Cinderella," "Snow White," and "Rapunzel." Schwartz's retelling of one of these stories, "The Finger," inspired Tim Burton's film Corpse Bride.
This is the fourth and fi nal volume of Lester L. Grabbe's four-volume history of the Second Temple period, collecting all that is known about the Jews during the period in which they were ruled by the Roman Empire. Based directly on primary sources such as archaeology, inscriptions, Jewish literary sources and Greek, Roman and Christian sources, this study includes analysis of the Jewish diaspora, mystical and Gnosticism trends, and the developments in the Temple, the law, and contemporary attitudes towards Judaism. Spanning from the reign of Herod Archelaus to the war with Rome and Roman control up to 150 CE, this volume concludes with Grabbe's holistic perspective on the Jews and Judaism in the Second Temple Period.
This text combines study of the dynamic historical development of each religious tradition with a comparative thematic structure. Students are encouraged to discover and explore the nature of religious experience by comparing basic themes and issues common to all religions, finding connections with their own personal experiences. By sensitively introducing descriptive material within a comparative thematic structure, this text helps students to understand how each religion provides, for its adherents, patterns and meanings that make up a full way of life.
This is the first study of monstrosity in Jewish history from the Middle Ages to modernity. Drawing on Jewish history, literary studies, folklore, art history and the history of science, it examines both the historical depiction of Jews as monsters and the creative use of monstrous beings in Jewish culture. Jews have occupied a liminal position within European society and culture, being deeply immersed yet outsiders to it. For this reason, they were perceived in terms of otherness and were often represented as monstrous beings. However, at the same time, European Jews invoked, with tantalizing ubiquity, images of magical, terrifying and hybrid beings in their texts, art and folktales. These images were used by Jewish authors and artists to push back against their own identification as monstrous or diabolical and to tackle concerns about religious persecution, assimilation and acculturation, gender and sexuality, science and technology and the rise of antisemitism. Bringing together an impressive cast of contributors from around the world, this fascinating volume is an invaluable resource for academics, postgraduates and advanced undergraduates interested in Jewish studies, as well as the history of monsters.
This authoritative and comprehensive guide to key people and events in Anglo-Jewish history stretches from Cromwell's re-admittance of the Jews in 1656 to the present day and contains nearly 3000 entries, the vast majority of which are not featured in any other sources.
WITH MORE THAN 100 BLACK-AND-WHITE ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT Who are “the Jews”? Scattered over much of the world throughout most of their three-thousand-year-old history, are they one people or many? How do they resemble and how do they differ from Jews in other places and times? What have their relationships been to the cultures of their neighbors? To address these and similar questions, twenty-three of the finest scholars of our day—archaeologists, cultural historians, literary critics, art historians , folklorists, and historians of relation, all affiliated with major academic institutions in the United States, Israel, and France—have contributed their insight to Cultures of the Jews. The premise of their endeavor is that although Jews have always had their own autonomous traditions, Jewish identity cannot be considered immutable, the fixed product of either ancient ethnic or religious origins. Rather, it has shifted and assumed new forms in response to the cultural environment in which the Jews have lived. Building their essays on specific cultural artifacts—a poem, a letter, a traveler’s account, a physical object of everyday or ritual use—that were made in the period and locale they study, the contributors describe the cultural interactions among different Jews—from rabbis and scholars to non-elite groups, including women—as well as between Jews and the surrounding non-Jewish world. Part One, “Mediterranean Origins,” describes the concept of the “People” or “Nation” of Israel that emerges in the Hebrew Bible and the culture of the Israelites in relation to that of the Canaanite groups. It goes on to discuss Jewish cultures in the Greco-Roman world, Palestine during the Byzantine period, Babylonia, and Arabia during the formative years of Islam. Part Two, “Diversities of Diaspora,” illuminates Judeo-Arabic culture in the Golden Age of Islam, Sephardic culture as it bloomed first if the Iberian Peninsula and later in Amsterdam, the Jewish-Christian symbiosis in Ashkenazic Europe and in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the culture of the Italian Jews of the Renaissance period, and the many strands of folklore, magic, and material culture that run through diaspora Jewish history. Part Three, “Modern Encounters,” examines communities, ways of life, and both high and fold culture in Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, the Ladino Diaspora, North Africa and the Middle East, Ethiopia, Zionist Palestine and the State of Israel, and, finally, the United States. Cultures of the Jews is a landmark, representing the fruits of the present generation of scholars in Jewish studies and offering a new foundation upon which all future research into Jewish history will be based. Its unprecedented interdisciplinary approach will resonate widely among general readers and the scholarly community, both Jewish and non-Jewish, and it will change the terms of the never-ending debate over what constitutes Jewish identity.
This exhaustive work offers readers at multiple levels key insights into the military, political, social, cultural, and religious origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict. • With more than 750 alphabetically organized entries covering everything from important people, places, and events to a wide range of social and cultural topics—each entry featuring cross references and suggestions for further reading • A separate documents volume offering an unprecedented collection of more than 150 essential primary sources • Over 500 images, including maps, photographs, and illustrations • A comprehensive introductory overview by retired general Anthony Zinni
Occasionally one comes across a book, which is unexpected, delights and inspires. Surinam, known as the 'Jewish Savannah', where a vibrant Jewish community was granted full and equal rights two hundred years before the Jews of other communities in the region. St Eustatius, where the economically successful Jewish community was plundered during the British occupation in 1781. Curacao, named the 'Mother of Jewish communities in the New World', where a prosperous Jewish community comprised nearly half of Curacao's non-slave population and was the center of Jewish life in the region. For all their economic and local political power, the Jews were little more than pawns in the 200-year struggle for control of the Caribbean by Holland, Great Britain, France and Spain. Eventually growing tired of this chess game, the Jews of the Caribbean drifted into assimilation or immigrated to the United States, where life was more secure. An ideal resource and captivating read for those traveling to the region or people with an interest in Jewish history, this is an exceptional book that brings the Jewish communities of the Caribbean to life, with intensity, and with a heartbeat so strong as to secure their proper and rightful place in recorded Jewish history.
Now available in paperback for the first time, Jewish Writers of the Twentieth Century is both a comprehensive reference resource and a springboard for further study. This volume: examines canonical Jewish writers, less well-known authors of Yiddish and Hebrew, and emerging Israeli writers includes entries on figures as diverse as Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, Tristan Tzara, Eugene Ionesco, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Arthur Miller, Saul Bellow, Nadine Gordimer, and Woody Allen contains introductory essays on Jewish-American writing, Holocaust literature and memoirs, Yiddish writing, and Anglo-Jewish literature provides a chronology of twentieth-century Jewish writers. Compiled by expert contributors, this book contains over 330 entries on individual authors, each consisting of a biography, a list of selected publications, a scholarly essay on their work and suggestions for further reading.
Folktales from Eastern Europe presents 71 tales from Ashkenasic culture in the most important collection of Jewish folktales ever published. It is the second volume in Folktales of the Jews, the five-volume series to be released over the next several years, in the tradition of Louis Ginzberg's classic, Legends of the Jews. The tales here and the others in this series have been selected from the Israel Folktale Archives at The University of Haifa, Israel (IFA), a treasure house of Jewish lore that has remained largely unavailable to the entire world until now. Since the creation of the State of Israel, the IFA has collected more than 20,000 tales from newly arrived immigrants, long-lost stories shared by their families from around the world. The tales come from the major ethno-linguistic communities of the Jewish world and are representative of a wide variety of subjects and motifs, especially rich in Jewish content and context. Each of the tales is accompanied by in-depth commentary that explains the tale's cultural, historical, and literary background and its similarity to other tales in the IFA collection, and extensive scholarly notes. There is also an introduction that describes the Ashkenasic culture and its folk narrative tradition, a world map of the areas covered, illustrations, biographies of the collectors and narrators, tale type and motif indexes, a subject index, and a comprehensive bibliography. Until the establishment of the IFA, we had had only limited access to the wide range of Jewish folk narratives. Even in Israel, the gathering place of the most wide-ranging cross-section of world Jewry, these folktales have remained largely unknown. Many of the communities no longer exist as cohesive societies in their representative lands; the Holocaust, migration, and changes in living styles have made the continuation of these tales impossible. This volume and the others to come will be monuments to a rich but vanishing oral tradition
A RUSA 2007 Outstanding Reference Title The Encyclopedia of the Developing World is a comprehensive work on the historical and current status of developing countries. Containing more than 750 entries, the Encyclopedia encompasses primarily the years since 1945 and defines development broadly, addressing not only economics but also civil society and social progress. Entries cover the most important theories and measurements of development; relate historical events, movements, and concepts to development both internationally and regionally where applicable; examine the contributions of the most important persons and organizations; and detail the progress made within geographic regions and by individual countries.
This thoroughly researched book reveals the true identity of the modern Israeli. Israelis are unique in having changed their identity three times in only one hundred years. Written in a user-friendly style, the book will appeal to scholars and students of the Middle East.
An internationally recognized scholar and theologian shares a Jewish mysticism for our times Judaism, one of the world’s great spiritual traditions, is not addressed to Jews alone. In this masterful book, Arthur Green calls out to seekers of all sorts, offering a universal response to the eternal human questions of who we are, why we exist, where we are going, and how to live. Drawing on over half a century as a Jewish seeker and teacher, he shows us a Judaism that cultivates the life of the spirit, that inspires an inward journey leading precisely toward self-transcendence, to an awareness of the universal Self in whose presence we exist. As a neo-hasidic seeker, he is both devotional and boldly questioning in his understanding of God and tradition. Engaging with the mystical sources, he translates the insights of the Hasidic masters into a new religious language accessible to all those eager to build an inner life and a human society that treasures the divine spark in each person and throughout Creation.
Judaism, the oldest of the Abrahamic religions, is one of the pillars of modern civilization. A collective of internationally renowned experts cooperated in a singular academic enterprise to portray Judaism from its transformation as a Temple cult to its broad contemporary varieties. In three volumes the long-running book series "Die Religionen der Menschheit" (Religions of Humanity) presents for the first time a complete and compelling view on Jewish life now and then - a fascinating portrait of the Jewish people with its ability to adapt itself to most different cultural settings, always maintaining its strong and unique identity. Volume I provides a global view on Jewish history from antiquity, the middle ages, to contemporary history.
From Karl Marx to the Marx brothers, the Routledge Who's Who in Jewish History presents a complete and thoroughly updated reference guide to over a thousand prominent men and women who have shaped Jewish culture. Covering twenty centuries of Jewish history it provides: * detailed biographical information on each leading figure * analysis of their role and significance both in Jewish life and the wider culture * a comprehensive chronological table displaying the history of the Jewish race * a series of maps * a useful glossary giving precise definitions of Jewish words.
Jonathan D. Sarna’s award-winning American Judaism is now available in an updated and revised edition that summarizes recent scholarship and takes into account important historical, cultural, and political developments in American Judaism over the past fifteen years. Praise for the first edition: “Sarna . . . has written the first systematic, comprehensive, and coherent history of Judaism in America; one so well executed, it is likely to set the standard for the next fifty years.”—Jacob Neusner, Jerusalem Post “A masterful overview.”—Jeffrey S. Gurock, American Historical Review “This book is destined to be the new classic of American Jewish history.”—Norman H. Finkelstein, Jewish Book World Winner of the 2004 National Jewish Book Award/Jewish Book of the Year