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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.
Italian Translations of Hebrew Literature in the Early Modern Period
This volume presents the culmination of research on an almost ignored literary corpus: the translations into literary Italian of classical Hebrew texts made by Jews between 1550 and 1650. It includes poetry, philosophy and wisdom literature, as well as dictionaries and biblical translations produced in what their authors viewed as a national tongue, common to Christians and Jews. In so doing, the authors/translators explicitly left behind the so-called Judeo-Italian. These texts, many of them being published for the first time, are studied in the context of intellectual and literary history. The book is an original contribution showing that the linguistic acculturation of German Jews in the late 18th century occurred in Italy 150 years earlier.
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.
The Early Modern Synagogue Painter and His World
Author: Zvi Orgad
Eliezer-Zusman of Brody: The Early Modern Synagogue Painter and His World discusses Jewish cultural and artistic migration from Eastern Europe to German lands in the first half of the eighteenth century. Focusing on Eliezer-Zusman of Brody, who painted synagogues in the Franconia area, hitherto neglected biographical aspects and work methods of religious artisans in Eastern and Central Europe during the early modern period are revealed. What begins as a study of synagogue paintings in Franconia presents an unexpectedly intensive glimpse into the lives and sacred products of painters at the periphery of Jewish Ashkenazi existence.