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Volume Editors: Johannes Heil and Sumi Shimahara
This book offers a new and inclusive approach to Western exegesis up to 1100. For too long, modern scholars have examined Jewish and Christian exegesis apart from each other. This is not surprising, given how religious, social, and linguistic borders separated Jews and Christians. But they worked to a great extent on the same texts. Christians were keenly aware that they relied on translation. The contributions to this volume reveal how both sides worked on parallel tracks, posing similar questions and employing more or less the same techniques, and in some rare instances, interdependently.
This quantitative study of Piotrków Trybunalski traces the evolution of the population in the typical early modern semi-agrarian town in which the majority of activity was concentrated in the Jewish suburbs into a provincial capital in Congress Poland. Through the use of longitudinal aggregations and family reconstruction it explores fertility, mortality, and marriage patterns from the early nineteenth century, when civil records were introduced, until the Holocaust, revealing key differences as well as striking similarities between local Jews and non-Jews. The example of Piotrków set in a broader European context highlights variations in the pre-transitional demography of Ashkenazi Jewry and lack of universal model describing the “traditional” or “eastern European” Jewish family.
David Levi: a Jewish Freemason and Saint-Simonian in Nineteenth-century Italy
In this volume, Alessandro Grazi offers the first intellectual biography of the Italian Jewish writer and politician David Levi (1816-1898). In this intriguing journey through the mysterious rites of Freemasonry and the bizarre worldviews of Saint-Simonianism, you can discover Levi’s innovative interpretation of Judaism and its role in modernity. As a champion of dialogue with Catholic intellectuals, Levi’s importance transcends the Jewish world. The second part of the book presents an unpublished document, Levi’s comedy “Il Mistero delle Tre Melarancie”, a phantasmagorical adventure in search of his Jewish identity, with an English translation of its most relevant excerpt.
From Acceptable Undesirables to Respected Businessmen
Author: Gustavo Guzmán
This is the first book in English to discuss the changing attitudes of the Chilean Right toward Jewish immigrants and the State of Israel from the 1930s onwards. Jewish Chileans have ascended rapidly from the status of undesirable immigrants to middle and upper-middle class, facing less obstacles than their Argentine coreligionists. Particular emphasis is given to the failed struggle to extradite war criminal Walther Rauff and to the years of the military dictatorship headed by General Augusto Pinochet. By the 1970s, Israel seemed a strong pro-Western barrier to the expansion of communism and Islamic fundamentalism.
Author: Rachel Sharaby
This book deals with how, starting in the 1960s, immigrant groups in Israel constructed their ethnic identity by reviving their ethnic festivals and turning them into part of Israeli society. For the immigrants, these festivals serve as a collective “definitional ceremony,” with an intersection of ethnicity, culture, and identity. They also help them to develop cultural and religious syncretism. The discussion of their social and political leaders’ ethnic activism provides important insights about the ways in which immigrant leaders employ their ethnic tradition as a resource for mobilizing cultural, social, and political capital that will facilitate their penetration of the cultural mainstream.
An Exploration of Modern Jewish Ontology via Identities in Popular Culture
Author: Joel West
Historically Judaism has been called both a nation and a religion, yet there are those Jews who eschew the religious and national definitions for a cultural one. For example, while TV’s Mrs. Maisel is ostensibly a Jew, the actor playing her is not, and Mrs. Maisel’s actions are not always Jewish. In The Fractured Jew Joel West separates Judaism into phenomenological and performative, starting with popular portrayals of Jews and Judaism, in today’s media, as a jumping-off point to understand Judaism and Jewishness, not from the outside, but from the emic, internal, Jewish point of view.
Author: Erica Baricci
The Ma‘asé-Ester, “Esther’s affairs”, is a 14th-century Judeo-Provençal poem on the story of Esther, intended for a recital during the banquet for Purim.
The short poem – recently discovered in the single manuscript that preserves it – is a new precious document that enriches a small corpus of medieval Judeo-Provençal texts. This book offers the first critical edition of the complete text accompanied by a detailed study of the sources and the language. It guides us in understanding why the story of Esther became such a popular theme in 14th-century Provence, and in what way the Avignon Papacy and the studies on Moses Maimonides influenced this literary novelty.
During the first months of World War II, nearly one thousand refugees and asylum seekers held in French internment camps sought the help of one man: Salomon Grumbach. Meredith Scott’s The Lifeline is a ground-breaking study of Grumbach, an Alsatian Jew, journalist, and socialist politician who became one of Europe’s most important interwar refugee advocates. Focusing on his remarkable life in Germany and France, it uncovers the identities that drove his international crusades for democracy and human rights. The Lifeline offers lessons that transcend national boundaries and historical moments, challenging us to rethink our ideas about resistance, mobilization, and activism.
Jacob Taubes is one of the most significant intellectual figures in the more recent German intellectual scene—and beyond. However, Taubes was either dismissed as a highly controversial character, or as a mere commentator of ongoing debates, or the reception was restricted to his considerations on religion and the ambivalences of secularity. This volume challenges these reductions by putting Taubes' original, albeit marginalised, texts into new, sometimes surprising contexts. Furthermore, it relates familiar topics in his oeuvre to lesser-known themes that are still highly pertinent for contemporary discussions on faith, modernity, and the limits of politics.