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Edited by Yosef Kaplan, Henry Méchoulan and Richard H. Popkin

This book, the results of a conference held in Israel in 1985, brings together many new perspectives on the significance of Menasseh ben Israel's ideas, and their relation to Christian millenarian views of the time and Jewish kabbalistic and messianistic thought. Scholars from America, Europe and Israel, working on various aspects of 17th century philosophy and religion present here in 18 essays important new data and interpretations of the Jewish and Christian background, and of Menasseh's ideas and their relation to those of Jewish and Christian thinkers of the time. Thus, this volume provides the grounds for reassessing, on the basis of recent scholarship, the ferment of messianic and millenarian ideas issuing from Holland and England in the mid-17th century.

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Edited by Alan Avery-Peck, Lezlie C. Green and Jacob Neusner

The Annual of Rabbinic Judaism, Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, the first and only annual with a special focus on Rabbinic Judaism, will publish principal articles, essays on method and criticism, systematic debates ( Auseindersetzungen), occasional notes, long book reviews, reviews of issues of scholarly journals, assessments of textbooks and instructional materials, and other media of academic discourse, scholarly and educational alike.
The Annual fills the gap in the study of Judaism, the religion, which is left by the prevailing division of Rabbinic Judaism into the standard historical periods (ancient, medieval, modern) that in fact do not apply; and by the common treatment of Judaism in bits and pieces (philosophy, mysticism, law, homiletics, institutional history, for example), which obscures the fundamental unity and continuity of Rabbinic Judaism from beginning to the present.

The Jews in Genoa, Volume 2: 1682-1799

Documentary History of the Jews in Italy

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Rosanna Urbani and Guido Zazzu

These volumes of the "Documentary History of the Jews in Italy", illustrate the history of the Jews in Genoa and surroundings from Antiquity to the French Revolution. The earliest documentary evidence takes the form of letters from King Theodoric. For the Middle Ages the documentation is relatively fragmentary and sporadic. Later there is greater abundance of historical evidence, which portrays chiefly the destinies of the Jews in the Republic from the sixteenth century on, when the presence of the Jews became permanent and a regular community was established also in the capital.
The historical records presented illustrate mainly the relationship between the government of the Genoese Republic and the Jews, the latter's economic activities and their communal and social life. Some of the detailed descriptions of the Jewish population in Genoa, their living conditions and occupations, allow for a close examination of the social conditions of this Northern Italian community. For a while Genoa became a haven of refuge for some of the exiles from Spain, including the historian Joseph Hacohen and members of the Abarbanel family. The volumes are provided with an extensive introduction, bibliography, glossary and indexes.

The Unknown Neighbour

The Jew in the Thought of Isidore of Seville

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Wolfram Drews

This book provides a detailed analysis of Isidore of Seville's attitude towards Jews and Judaism. Starting out from his anti-Jewish work De fide catholica contra Iudaeos, the author puts Isidore's argument into the context of his entire literary production. Furthermore, he explores the place of Isidore's thinking within the contemporary situation of Visigothic Spain, investigating the political functionalization of religion, most particularly the forced baptisms ordered by King Sisebut, whose advisor Isidore was thought to have been. It becomes clear that Isidore's primary goal is to produce a new "Gothic" identity for the recently established Catholic "nation" of Visigothic Spain; to this end he uses anti-Jewish stereotypes inherited from the tradition of Catholic anti-Judaism.

Edited by Rosanna Urbani and Guido Zazzu

These volumes of the "Documentary History of the Jews in Italy", illustrate the history of the Jews in Genoa and surroundings from Antiquity to the French Revolution. The earliest documentary evidence takes the form of letters from King Theodoric. For the Middle Ages the documentation is relatively fragmentary and sporadic. Later there is greater abundance of historical evidence, which portrays chiefly the destinies of the Jews in the Republic from the sixteenth century on, when the presence of the Jews became permanent and a regular community was established also in the capital.
The historical records presented illustrate mainly the relationship between the government of the Genoese Republic and the Jews, the latter's economic activities and their communal and social life. Some of the detailed descriptions of the Jewish population in Genoa, their living conditions and occupations, allow for a close examination of the social conditions of this Northern Italian community. For a while Genoa became a haven of refuge for some of the exiles from Spain, including the historian Joseph Hacohen and members of the Abarbanel family. The volumes are provided with an extensive introduction, bibliography, glossary and indexes.

Sacred Communities

Jewish and Christian Identities in Fifteenth-Century Germany

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Dean Phillip Bell

We all live in a community, and it was no different for the Jews and Christians of medieval Germany—or was it? This book draws together disparate threads of Christian and Jewish communal development in an effort to give a deeper understanding to the complex tapestry of Jewish and Christian interaction. In the broad examination presented herein, it is possible to compare the general transformations that affected Jews and Christians both as residents of a shared German society and as residents of their own separate communities. Jews and Christians interacted in a variety of ways, in numerous settings, and at a multitude of levels that defy simple categorization. To label late medieval Germany a period of crisis is too simplisitc, the “Reformation” should not categorically be viewed as the central development in the shift between medieval and early modern times. This book seeks to recontextualize the world of Jewish and Christian relations by bringing together divergent sources not often taken together, but equally important, to inform one another and offer a fuller picture of Jewish and Christian notions of each other and themselves than has been possible up to this point.

Emil J. Gumbel

Weimar German Pacifist and Professor

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Athalya Brenner

Emil J. Gumbel (1891-1966) began his career simply as a professor of mathematical statistics in Heidelberg, but he is most remembered as a political activist militantly advocating for pacifism during the complicated and volatile times of the Weimar Republic in Germany. As a Jew with left-wing socialist and democratic sensibilities, he was exiled to France and later America. Ironically, the same writings on political terror and politicized justice in Nazi Germany that caused his ostracization saved his life. A courageous man, Gumbel spoke out passionately against the Nazis and came to symbolize a 'one-man party' at the center of controversy in German academia. His intellectual and moral vigor never waned, and despite his significant scientific contributions, it is his legacy of political ideology that endures for later generations to learn from. This biography chronicles the public life of a man not entirely part of the political or the academic world, but who has earned his place in history nonetheless.

The Book of Conviviality in Exile (Kitāb al-īnās bi-ʾl-jalwa)

The Judaeo-Arabic Translation and Commentary of Saadia Gaon on the Book of Esther

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Michael G. Wechsler

This volume presents a critical edition of the Judaeo-Arabic translation and commentary on the book of Esther by Saadia Gaon (882–942). This edition, accompanied by an introduction and extensively annotated English translation, affords access to the first-known personalized, rationalistic Jewish commentary on this biblical book. Saadia innovatively organizes the biblical narrative—and his commentary thereon—according to seven “guidelines” that provide a practical blueprint by which Israel can live as an abased people under Gentile dominion. Saadia’s prodigious acumen and sense of communal solicitude find vivid expression throughout his commentary in his carefully-defined structural and linguistic analyses, his elucidative references to a broad range of contemporary socio-religious and vocational realia, his anti-Karaite polemics, and his attention to various issues, both psychological and practical, attending Jewish-Gentile conviviality in a 10th-century Islamicate milieu.