The Myth of the Cultural Jew

The Myth of the Cultural Jew

Roberta Rosenthal Kwall develops and applies a cultural analysis paradigm to the Jewish tradition that departs from the understanding of Jewish law solely as the embodiment of Divine command.

Author: Roberta Rosenthal Kwall

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780190238094

Category: Law

Page: 352

View: 838

A myth exists that Jews can embrace the cultural components of Judaism without appreciating the legal aspects of the Jewish tradition. This myth suggests that law and culture are independent of one another. In reality, however, much of Jewish culture has a basis in Jewish law. Similarly, Jewish law produces Jewish culture. A cultural analysis paradigm provides a useful way of understanding the Jewish tradition as the product of both legal precepts and cultural elements. This paradigm sees law and culture as inextricably intertwined and historically specific. This perspective also emphasizes the human element of law's composition and the role of existing power dynamics in shaping Jewish law. In light of this inevitable intersection between culture and law, The Myth of the Cultural Jew: Culture and Law in Jewish Tradition argues that Jewish culture is shallow unless it is grounded in Jewish law. Roberta Rosenthal Kwall develops and applies a cultural analysis paradigm to the Jewish tradition that departs from the understanding of Jewish law solely as the embodiment of Divine command. Her paradigm explains why both law and culture must matter to those interested in forging meaningful Jewish identity and transmitting the tradition.
Categories: Law

The Myth of the Cultural Jew

The Myth of the Cultural Jew

MyTh. of. The. Cultural. Jew. In certain circles, one often hears somebody say that
he or she is “a cultural Jew.” This statement usually is intended to mean that the
speaker is not religious but still identifies as Jewish from a cultural standpoint.

Author: Roberta Rosenthal Kwall

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780195373707

Category: Law

Page: 315

View: 746

A myth exists that Jews can embrace the cultural components of Judaism without appreciating the legal aspects of the Jewish tradition. This myth suggests that law and culture are independent of one another. In reality, however, much of Jewish culture has a basis in Jewish law. Similarly, Jewish law produces Jewish culture. Roberta Rosenthal Kwall develops and applies a cultural analysis paradigm to the Jewish tradition that departs from the understanding of Jewish law solely as the embodiment of Divine command.
Categories: Law

The Myth of the Medieval Jewish Moneylender

The Myth of the Medieval Jewish Moneylender

This book challenges a common historical narrative, which portrays medieval Jews as moneylenders who filled an essential economic role in Europe.

Author: Julie L. Mell

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9781137397782

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 381

This book challenges a common historical narrative, which portrays medieval Jews as moneylenders who filled an essential economic role in Europe. It traces how and why this narrative was constructed as a philosemitic narrative in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in response to the rise of political antisemitism. This book also documents why it is a myth for medieval Europe, and illuminates how changes in Jewish history change our understanding of European history. Each chapter offers a novel interpretation of central topics, such as the usury debate, commercial contracts, and moral literature on money and value to demonstrate how the revision of Jewish history leads to new insights in European history.
Categories: History

The Myth of the Jewish Race

The Myth of the Jewish Race

A revised and updated scientific section on the measurable genetic, morphological, and behavioral differences between Jews and non-Jews supports the conclusion that the idea of a "Jewish race" is, indeed, a myth.

Author: Raphael Patai

Publisher: Wayne State University Press

ISBN: 0814319483

Category: Social Science

Page: 456

View: 475

In this carefully researched analysis, Raphael and Jennifer Patai begin by defining race. They then develop the idea of the existence of "races" through history. In rich and fascinating detail, the authors consider the effects of intermarriage, interbreeding, proselytism, slavery, and concubinage on the Jewish population from Biblical times to the present. New material explores the psychological aspects of the Jewish race issue, the Jewish psyche, and the consequences of the 1975 United Nations resolution equating Zionism with racism. A revised and updated scientific section on the measurable genetic, morphological, and behavioral differences between Jews and non-Jews supports the conclusion that the idea of a "Jewish race" is, indeed, a myth.
Categories: Social Science

Remix Judaism

Remix Judaism

In Remix Judaism, Kwall inspires her audience to be intentional and mindful about the space they allocate for these elements in defining their individual Jewish journeys and identities.

Author: Roberta Rosenthal Kwall

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN: 9781538129562

Category: Religion

Page: 272

View: 583

Remix Judaism: Preserving Tradition in a Diverse World offers an eloquent and thoughtful new vision for all Jews seeking a sense of belonging in a changing world, regardless of their current level of observance. Kwall sets out a process of selection, rejection, and modification of rituals that allow for a focus on Jewish tradition rather than on the technicalities of Jewish law. Her goal is not to sell her own religious practices to readers but, rather, to encourage them to find their own personal meaning in Judaism outside the dictates of Commandment by broadening their understanding of how law, culture and tradition fit together. In Remix Judaism, Kwall inspires her audience to be intentional and mindful about the space they allocate for these elements in defining their individual Jewish journeys and identities.
Categories: Religion

The Myth of Ritual Murder

The Myth of Ritual Murder

In this engrossing book R. Po-Chia Hsia traces the rise and decline of ritual murder trials during that period.

Author: R. Po-chia Hsia

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300047460

Category: History

Page: 248

View: 343

From the mid-fifteenth century to the early seventeenth, German Jews were persecuted and tried for the alleged ritual murders of Christian children, whose blood purportedly played a crucial part in Jewish magical rites. In this engrossing book R. Po-Chia Hsia traces the rise and decline of ritual murder trials during that period. Using sources ranging from Christian and Kabbalistic treatises to judicial records and popular pamphlets, Hsia examines the religious sources of the idea of child sacrifice and blood symbolism and reconstructs the political context of ritual murder trials against the Jews. "This volume combines clarity of thinking, elegance of style, and exemplary scholarly attention to detail with intellectual sobriety and human compassion."--Jerome Friedman, Sixteenth Century Journal "Hsia has... succeeded in turning established knowledge to illuminatingly new purposes."--G.R. Elton, New York Review of Books "This meticulously researched and unusually perceptive book is social and intellectual history at its best."--Library Journal "A fresh perspective on an old problem by a major new talent."--Steven Ozment, Harvard University R. Po-chia Hsia, professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is also the author of Society and Religion in Münster, 1535-1618
Categories: History

The Myth of the Medieval Jewish Moneylender

The Myth of the Medieval Jewish Moneylender

This book challenges a common historical narrative, which portrays medieval Jews as moneylenders who filled an essential economic role in Europe.

Author: Julie L. Mell

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9783319341866

Category: History

Page: 264

View: 699

This book challenges a common historical narrative, which portrays medieval Jews as moneylenders who filled an essential economic role in Europe. Where Volume I traced the development of the narrative in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and refuted it with an in-depth study of English Jewry, Volume II explores the significance of dissolving the Jewish narrative for European history. It extends the study from England to northern France, the Mediterranean, and central Europe and deploys the methodologies of legal, cultural, and religious history alongside economic history. Each chapter offers a novel interpretation of key topics, such as the Christian usury campaign, the commercial revolution, and gift economy / profit economy, to demonstrate how the revision of Jewish history leads to new insights in European history.
Categories: History

Benjamin Disraeli

Benjamin Disraeli

This book shows how a myth can take on a life of its own in the collective memory of the Jewish people, as well as in the thought processes of a variety of anti-Semitic groups.

Author: Bernard Glassman

Publisher: University Press of America

ISBN: 0761825401

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 262

View: 712

Discusses Disraeli's image in his lifetime, and the myth of the "Jewish Prime Minister" after his death. During his life, Disraeli was proud of his belonging to the "noble Jewish race." His friends and enemies, as well, never forgot that he was born a Jew. When attacking him, his political adversaries (Gladstone and others) first of all attacked his Jewish origins. They questioned the sincerity of his baptism and his British patriotism. The antisemitic campaign against Disraeli peaked in 1875-78, in the time of the "Turkish atrocities, " when he was blamed for promoting Jewish interests. Disraeli's death (1881) coincided with the beginning of a mass Jewish immigration to Britain and a revival of antisemitism in the country. With the rise of political antisemitism throughout the Western world, Disraeli became an example of "the international Jew" pushing for world power. After World War I, his image was also used by radical antisemites and especially the Nazis and their sympathizers as a demonstration of the "world Jewish conspiracy."
Categories: Biography & Autobiography

Modern Jewish Mythologies

Modern Jewish Mythologies

Based on the Mason Lectures delivered at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies in the winter of 1995, the ten essays in this volume demonstrate the function and dynamic effect Jewish mythologies in social, political, and ...

Author: Glenda Abramson

Publisher: ISD LLC

ISBN: 9780878204748

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 330

Based on the Mason Lectures delivered at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies in the winter of 1995, the ten essays in this volume demonstrate the function and dynamic effect Jewish mythologies in social, political, and psychological life. Eli Yassif's introduction illustrates the complex relationship between myth and ritual in modern Jewish culture. In a separate essay, he focuses on the ancient Jewish tale of the Golem, a myth that presents an exemplary test case for the exploration of cultural continuity. Using the testimonies of Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe to Britain and the battle on the plain of Latrun in the Israeli War of Independence, David Cesarani and Anita Shapira demonstrate that the process of creating myth is related in one way or another to attempts by specific social and ethnic groups to shape their collective memory. Along these lines, Milton Shain and Sally Frankental interrogate the view that during the apartheid period in South African history, South African Jewry operated on a higher moral plane than most other white South Africans. And while Nurith Gertz examines the male superhero that dominated the early national Zionist cinema and reflected the center of gravity in the Zionist myth, Dan Urian analyzes two Israeli plays produced in the 1990s that examine the myth of the biblical Sarah, rewritten from a feminist perspective. Other essays examine widely held cultural beliefs of contemporary Western Jewry. Jonathan Webber questions whether memory is an essentially Jewish value and remembrance a Jewish moral duty. Tudor Parfitt explores Western and Israeli perceptions of the Yemenite Jews, and Sylvie Anne Goldberg, in examining the evolving role of the chevrah kaddisha in Prague, discusses changes in perceptions of communal institutions and traditional and modern Jewish attitudes with regard to death. Finally, Matthew Olshan offers an analysis of Kafka's animal fables as parables for the Jewish response to tradition.
Categories: Social Science

The Jewish Pope

The Jewish Pope

The roots of this myth - that one day a Jewish apostate might come to rule the world as Pope - lie deep in the Biblical story of the assimilation of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), from which it branches out into numerous Messianic fantasies ...

Author: Joseph Sherman

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781351197496

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 212

View: 383

"To what extent do Yiddish language and literature derive from the dominant values of mainstream European culture? How far did this culture shape the self-perception of Yiddish-speaking Jews of Central and Eastern Europe? How far did the ambivalent, antagonistic attitude adopted towards Jews over many centuries in Christian Europe shape modern Jewish identity and culture? Sherman deals with such questions in his close examination of the recurring treatment of the myth of the Jewish Pope in four Yiddish literary texts dating from between 1602 and 1943. The roots of this myth - that one day a Jewish apostate might come to rule the world as Pope - lie deep in the Biblical story of the assimilation of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), from which it branches out into numerous Messianic fantasies informing Jewish existence through two thousand years of exile. Concerned with broader questions of cultural identity, this study should be of interest to a general readership."
Categories: Literary Criticism

City of Rogues and Schnorrers

City of Rogues and Schnorrers

The book shows how the art of eminent Soviet-era figures such as Isaac Babel, Il’ia Ilf, Evgenii Petrov, and Leonid Utesov grew out of the Odessa Russian-Jewish culture into which they were born and which shaped their lives. “Traces the ...

Author: Jarrod Tanny

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 9780253001382

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 791

“Outstanding . . . A delightfully written work of serious scholarship.” —Jewish Book World Old Odessa, on the Black Sea, gained notoriety as a legendary city of Jewish gangsters and swindlers, a frontier boomtown mythologized for the adventurers, criminals, and merrymakers who flocked there to seek easy wealth and lead lives of debauchery and excess. Odessa is also famed for the brand of Jewish humor brought there in the nineteenth century from the shtetls of Eastern Europe and that flourished throughout Soviet times. From a broad historical perspective, Jarrod Tanny examines the hybrid Judeo-Russian culture that emerged in Odessa in the nineteenth century and persisted through the Soviet era and beyond. The book shows how the art of eminent Soviet-era figures such as Isaac Babel, Il’ia Ilf, Evgenii Petrov, and Leonid Utesov grew out of the Odessa Russian-Jewish culture into which they were born and which shaped their lives. “Traces the emergence, development, and persistence of the myth of Odessa as both Garden of Eden and Gomorrah . . . A joy to read.” —Robert Weinberg, Swarthmore College
Categories: History

Jewish Cultural Encounters in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern World

Jewish Cultural Encounters in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern World

Taking the flexible concept of “cultural encounter” as a starting point, this volume presents a variety of studies which focus on the impact of encounters between cultures, groups, and individuals as it relates to ancient Jewish ...

Author: Mladen Popović

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9789004336919

Category: Religion

Page: 304

View: 871

Taking the flexible concept of “cultural encounter” as a starting point, this volume presents a variety of studies which focus on the impact of encounters between cultures, groups, and individuals as it relates to ancient Jewish religion, culture, and society.
Categories: Religion

The Myth of Jewish Communism

The Myth of Jewish Communism

It traces the myth of Jewish communism from the traditional anti-Jewish prejudices on which it is built, to its crucial role in Eastern European Stalinist and post-Stalinist politics.

Author: André Gerrits

Publisher: Peter Lang

ISBN: 9052014655

Category: History

Page: 220

View: 835

'Jewish Communism' was one of the most powerful and destructive political myths in 20th-century Europe. The cry of Jewish communist conspiracy turned traditional, often religiously inspired anti-Jewish sentiments into a murderous anti-Semitic rampage. The connection of Jews with communism has always been an extremely sensitive issue, which cannot simply be dismissed as a fully irrational phenomenon. Jews were disproportionately present in the revolutionary movement. This does not make the myth of Jewish Communism less mythical, but it does imply that real interests and conflicts were involved. This book presents the first full-length analysis of the identification of Jews with communism. It traces the myth of Jewish Communism from the traditional anti-Jewish prejudices on which it is built, to its crucial role in Eastern European Stalinist and post-Stalinist politics. It documents the painful controversies that the participation of Jews in the revolutionary movement has generated among Jewish observers, among communists, and also among historians.
Categories: History

The Myth of the Jewish Race

The Myth of the Jewish Race

As a youth, the author, who had two Jewish grandparents, was defined as a Jew by Vichy France; his parents, however, refused to register the family as Jews. (In March 1944 Corcos and his brother fled to Spain and joined the Allied Forces in ...

Author: Alain F. Corcos

Publisher: Lehigh University Press

ISBN: 0934223793

Category: Social Science

Page: 170

View: 126

As a youth, the author, who had two Jewish grandparents, was defined as a Jew by Vichy France; his parents, however, refused to register the family as Jews. (In March 1944 Corcos and his brother fled to Spain and joined the Allied Forces in North Africa.) States that antisemites consider Jewishness to be inherited and to embody inferior, evil traits. This view is based on two false biological premises: that there are pure races of humans, and that some races are superior to others. Rejects these premises by considering modern biology and Jewish history. The latter indicates that the Jews cannot be a race, due to their lack of sexual isolation; diversity among Jews is a result of both intermarriage and proselytism. Sees the Spanish "limpieza de sangre" statutes and the Inquisition as precursors of Nazi racism. Observes that sometimes Jews have joined antisemites in accepting biological determinism. Intermarriage in countries such as China, India, and the USA has led to considerable biological diversity among Jews and to the reduction of diversity between Jews and non-Jews, if such diversity existed at all. Stresses that if antisemites have worried about "contamination" of their "race" by the Jews they have already missed the boat since Jews have mixed with non-Jews for many centuries.
Categories: Social Science

Off with Her Head

Off with Her Head

Whereas many books look at how women's bodies are represented in different religions and cultures around the world, this work explores the site of a woman's voice and identity, her head.

Author: Howard Eilberg-Schwartz

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520088405

Category: Religion

Page: 226

View: 420

Whereas many books look at how women's bodies are represented in different religions and cultures around the world, this work explores the site of a woman's voice and identity, her head. The female head threatens to disrupt the classic gender distinctions that link men to speech, identity, and mind while relegating women to silence, anonymity, and flesh. The contributors to this collection argue that the objectification of women as sexual and reproductive bodies results in their symbolic beheading. Decapitation occurs symbolically in myths as well as in actual practices such as veiling, head covering, and cosmetic highlighting, which by sexualizing a woman's face turns it into an extension of her body. The essays explore how similar treatments of the female head find their unique articulation in diverse religious traditions and cultures: in Hindu myths of beheading, in Buddhist and Tantric practices and poetry about the hair of female nuns, in the resistance to veiling by early Christian women at Corinth, in contemporary veiling practices in a Turkish village, in the eroticization of the female mouth in ancient Judaism, and in Greek and Roman cosmetic practices. Together these essays show how the depiction of the female head is critical for an understanding of gender and its influence on other fundamental religious and cultural issues.
Categories: Religion

Languages of Modern Jewish Cultures

Languages of Modern Jewish Cultures

This collection of essays brings to Jewish Language Studies the conceptual frameworks that have become increasingly important to Jewish Studies more generally: transnationalism, multiculturalism, globalization, hybrid cultures, ...

Author: Anita Norich

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 9780472053018

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 439

View: 253

This collection of essays brings to Jewish Language Studies the conceptual frameworks that have become increasingly important to Jewish Studies more generally: transnationalism, multiculturalism, globalization, hybrid cultures, multilingualism, and interlingual contexts. Languages of Modern Jewish Cultures collects work from prominent scholars in the field, bringing world literary and linguistic perspectives to generate distinctively new historical, cultural, theoretical, and scientific approaches to this topic of ongoing interest. Chapters of this edited volume consider from multiple angles the cultural politics of myths, fantasies, and anxieties of linguistic multiplicity in the history, cultures, folkways, and politics of global Jewry. Methodological range is as important to this project as linguistic range. Thus, in addition to approaches that highlight influence, borrowings, or acculturation, the volume represents those that highlight syncretism, the material conditions of Jewish life, and comparatist perspectives.
Categories: Language Arts & Disciplines

Cultures of Ambivalence and Contempt

Cultures of Ambivalence and Contempt

The kind of Anglo - Jewish history that remains to be written is one that explains
why such powerful myths as those of ritual murder and the wandering Jew
originated in mediaeval England , with bloody historical consequences
throughout ...

Author: James Parkes

Publisher:

ISBN: 0853033242

Category: History

Page: 321

View: 959

This collection of essays focuses on the concepts of tolerance and intolerance as it commemorates the life of James Parkes - the man who pioneered the study of antisemitism and Jewish-non-Jewish relations. The essays analyse many different examples of antisemitism, ambivalence and philosemitism.
Categories: History