Nationalism, War and Jewish Education explores historical circumstances leading to the emergence of a Jewish religious school system lasting to modern times and the process by which this system was broken down and adapted in secular form as Jewish nationalism grew in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the Roman period, education became an essential part of rabbinic pacifist accommodation following Jewish defeats, while in the modern period, secular education was associated with nationalism and increasing militancy of emerging states. In both periods there was a revival of Hebrew and the creation of an educational system based on Hebrew texts. Both revivals were responses to anti-Semitism, which pushed large numbers of Jews away from assimilation into the dominant culture to a renewed Jewish national identity. The book highlights the centrifugal and centripetal shifts in Jewish identity, from messianic militarism to pacifism and back. It shows how changes in Jewish education accompanied these shifts. While drawing on historical scholarship for background, this book is essentially a literary study, showing how literary changes at different times and places reflect historical, socio-psychological, economic and political change. Nationalism, War and Jewish Education is original in showing how ancient Jewish education affected modern Jewish society, therefore it is a valuable resource for students and researchers interested in Jewish history and literature, education, development studies and nationalism.
In the attempts to unify divided peoples on the basis of a shared past, both historical and mythical, this book illumines aspects of cultural nationalism common since the Middle Ages. As an edited work, the Bible includes texts mostly depicting long-gone historical eras extending over several centuries. Following on from Aberbach’s previous work National Poetry, Empires, and War, this book argues that works of this nature – notably the Mujo-Halil songs in Albania, the Irish stories of Cuchulain, the songs of the Nibelungen in Germany, or the Finnish legends collected in The Kalevala – have an ancient precedent in the Hebrew Bible (to which national literatures often allude and refer), a subject largely neglected in biblical studies. The self-critical element in the Hebrew Bible, common in later national literature, is examined as the basis of later anti-Semitism, as the Bible was not confined to Jews but was adopted in translation by many other national groups. With several dozen original translations from the Hebrew, this book highlights how the Bible influenced and was distorted by later national cultures. Written without jargon, this book is intended for the general reader, but is also an important contribution to the study of the Bible, nationalism, and Jewish history.
Moshe Aberbach (1924-2007) was a leading educator and scholar in Jewish studies, specialising in the field of Jewish education in the talmudic period. This book draws on a representative selection of his writings over a fifty year period, and includes essays on Saadia Gaon and Maimonides, coverage of biblical and talmudic studies, and discussions of the roots of religious anti-Zionism and of the Lubavitch messianic movement in the context of similar movements in Jewish history. Focusing on the history of Jewish education and linking the Roman destruction of the Jewish state in 70 CE with Jewish survival after the Holocaust, and how survival of both depended on a strong system of education and the moral example set by teachers, the book explores the vital importance of education to Jewish survival from biblical times to the present. The book includes an autobiographical memoir of Moshe Aberbach’s childhood in Vienna, as well as a biographical Foreword by his son, David. It will be of great interest to Bible scholars and students of Jewish Studies, History, the Holocaust and Jewish social psychology.
Literature and Poverty offers an engaging overview of changes in literary perceptions of poverty and the poor. Part I of the book, from the Hebrew Bible to the French Revolution, provides essential background information. It introduces the Scriptural ideal of the ‘holy poor’ and the process by which biblical love of the poor came to be contested and undermined in European legislation and public opinion as capitalism grew and the state took over from the Church; Part II, from the French Revolution to World War II, shows how post-1789 problems of industrialization, population growth, war, and urbanization came to dominate much European literature, as poverty and the poor became central concerns of major writers such as Dickens, Dostoyevsky, and Hugo. David Aberbach uses literature – from the Bible, through Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Zola, Pushkin, and Orwell – to show how poverty changed from being an endemic and unavoidable fact of life, to a challenge for equality that might be attainable through a moral and rational society. As a literary and social history of poverty, this book argues for the vital importance of literature and the arts in understanding current problems in International Development.
Jews of Turkey: Migration, Culture and Memory explores the culture of Jews who immigrated from East Turkey to Israel. The study reveals the cultural values of their communities, way of life, beliefs and traditions in the multicultural and multi-religious environment that was the East of Turkey. The book presents their immigration processes, social relationships, and memories of their past from a cultural perspective. Consequently, this study reconstructs the life of Eastern Jews of Turkey before their immigration to Israel. The anthropological fieldwork for this research was carried out over a year in Israel. The author visited eleven cities, where he found Jewish communities from the Ottoman Empire. The book examines their history and origins, personal stories of their immigration, and different social aspects, such as their relationships with Muslims, other Jewish neighbourhoods, the family, childhood, status of women, marriages, clothing, cuisine, religious life, education, economic conditions, Shabbat and holidays. This is the first book that discusses multiple Jewish communities living in Israel who moved from East Turkey. The book will be a valuable resource for researchers and students who are interested in Jewish and Israeli studies, Turkish minorities and anthropology. Süleyman Şanlı is the chair of the anthropology department at Mardin Artuklu University, Turkey. He was a visiting scholar at the Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University, where he conducted the anthropological fieldwork on Jews who migrated to Israel from Turkey. His research interests are, Ottoman Jews, Jews of Turkey, Jewish cultural studies and social and cultural anthropology.
This volume explores the processes that led several modern Jewish leaders – rabbis, politicians, and intellectuals – to make radical changes to their ideology regarding Zionism, Socialism, and Orthodoxy. Comparing their ideological change to acts of conversion, the study examines the philosophical, sociological, and psychological path of the leaders’ transformation. The individuals examined are novelist Arthur Koestler, who transformed from a devout Communist to an anti-Communist crusader following the atrocities of the Stalin regime; Norman Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine, who moved from the New Left to neoconservative, disillusioned by US liberal politics; Yissachar Shlomo Teichtel, who transformed from an ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionist Hungarian rabbi to messianic Religious-Zionist due to the events of the Holocaust; Ruth Ben-David, who converted to Judaism after the Second World War in France because of her sympathy with Zionism, eventually becoming a radical anti-Israeli advocate; Haim Herman Cohn, Israeli Supreme Court justice, who grew up as a non-Zionist Orthodox Jew in Germany, later renouncing his belief in God due to the events of the Holocaust; and Avraham (Avrum) Burg, prominent centrist Israeli politician who served as the Speaker of the Knesset and head of the Jewish Agency, who later became a post-Zionist. Comparing aspects of modern politics to religion, the book will be of interest to researchers in a broad range of areas including modern Jewish studies, sociology of religion, and political science.
Studying the many ideas about how giving charity atones for sin and other rewards in late antique rabbinic literature, this volume contains many, varied, and even conflicting ideas, as the multiplicity must be recognized and allowed expression. Topics include the significance of the rabbis’ use of the biblical word "tzedaqah" as charity, the coexistence of the idea that God is the ultimate recipient of tzedaqah along with rabbinic ambivalence about that idea, redemptive almsgiving, and the reward for charity of retention or increase in wealth. Rabbinic literature’s preference for "teshuvah" (repentance) over tzedeqah to atone for sin is also closely examined. Throughout, close attention is paid to chronological differences in these ideas, and to differences between the rabbinic compilations of the land of Israel and the Babylonian Talmud. The book extensively analyzes the various ways the Babylonian Talmud especially tends to put limits on the divine element in charity while privileging its human, this-worldly dimensions. This tendency also characterizes the Babylonian Talmud’s treatment of other topics. The book briefly surveys some post-Talmudic developments. As the study fills a gap in existing scholarship on charity and the rabbis, it is an invaluable resource for scholars and clergy interested in charity within comparative religion, history, and religion.
Nietzsche and Jewish Political Theology is the first book to explore the impact of Friedrich Nietzsche’s work on the formation of Jewish political theology during the first half of the twentieth century. It maps the many ways in which early Jewish thinkers grappled with Nietzsche’s powerful ideas about politics, morality, and religion in the process of forging a new and modern Jewish culture. The book explores the stories of some of the most important Jewish thinkers who utilized Nietzsche’s writings in crafting the intellectual foundations of Jewish modern political theology. These figures’ political convictions ranged from orthodox conservatism to pacifist anarchism, and their attitude towards Nietzsche’s ideas varied from enthusiastic embrace to ambivalence and outright rejection. By bringing these diverse figures together, the book makes a convincing argument about Nietzsche’s importance for key figures of early Zionism and modern Jewish political thought. The present study offers a new interpretation of a particular theological position which is called "heretical religiosity." Only with modernity and, paradoxically, with rapid secularization, did one find "heretical religiosity" at full strength. Nietzsche enabled intellectual Jews to transform the foundation of their political existence. It provides a new perspective on the adaptation of Nietzsche’s philosophy in the age of Jewish national politics, and at the same time is a case study in the intellectual history of the modern Jewry. This new reading on Nietzsche’s work is a valuable resource for students and researchers interested in philosophy, Jewish history and political theology.
The Routledge International Handbook of Charisma provides an unprecedented multidimensional and multidisciplinary comparative analysis of the phenomenon of charisma – first defined by Max Weber as the irrational bond between deified leader and submissive follower. It includes broad overviews of foundational theories and experiences of charisma and of associated key issues and themes. Contributors include 45 influential international scholars who approach the topic from different disciplinary perspectives and utilize examples from an array of historical and cultural settings. The Handbook presents up-to-date, concise, thought-provoking, innovative, and informative perspectives on charisma as it has been expressed in the past and as it continues to be manifested in the contemporary world by leaders ranging from shamans to presidents. It is designed to be essential reading for all students, researchers, and general readers interested in achieving a comprehensive understanding of the power and potential of charismatic authority in all its varieties, subtleties, dynamics, and current and potential directions.
Exploring the literature of environmental moral dilemmas from the Hebrew Bible to modern times, this book argues the necessity of cross-disciplinary approaches to environmental studies, as a subject affecting everyone, in every aspect of life. Moral dilemmas are central in the literary genre of protest against the effects of industry, particularly in Romantic literature and ‘Condition of England’ novels. Writers from the time of the Industrial Revolution to the present—including William Blake, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, Émile Zola, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, T.S. Eliot, John Steinbeck, George Orwell, and J.M. Coetzee—follow the Bible in seeing environmental problems in moral terms, as a consequence of human agency. The issues raised by these and other writers—including damage to the environment and its effects on health and quality of life, particularly on the poor; economic conflicts of interest; water and air pollution, deforestation, and the environmental effects of war—are fundamentally the same today, making their works a continual source of interest and insight. Sketching a brief literary history on the impact of human behavior on the environment, this volume will be of interest to readers researching environmental studies, literary studies, religious studies and international development, as well as a useful resource to scientists and readers of the Arts.
By looking at the very specific case of the Greek-speaking Romaniote and the Ladino-speaking Sephardic communities in Southern Greece, Epirus and Macedonia, this book explores the attitudes and policies of the Greek state with regards to the Jewish communities both within its borders and in the areas of the Ottoman Empire it craved. Evdoxios Doxiadis traces the evolution of these policies from the time of Greek independence to the expansion of the Greek state in the early-20th century, telling us a great deal about the Jewish experience and the changing face of modern Greek nationalism in the process. Based on the evidence of numerous Greek consular reports, speeches, memoirs, political interviews and coverage of the status and treatment of the communities by the international Jewish press, State, Nationalism, and the Jewish Communities of Modern Greece sketches a detailed picture of the Greek political elite and the state's bureaucratic view of the various Jewish communities. By focusing on the state, though not ignoring popular attitudes, the book successfully argues that the Greek state followed policies that did not conform, and often were in opposition to, popular attitudes when it came to minorities and the Jews in particular. By focusing on the Jewish communities in modern Greece separately the book allows us to recognize how Greek governments recognized and used divisions and conflicts between the communities, and other minorities, to achieve their goals. As a result Greek state policies can be seen in a new light, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between the Jewish people and the Greek state. Using this case study, Doxiadis then discusses broader questions of state, nationalism and minorities in a volume of significant interest for students and scholars of modern Greek or modern Jewish history alike.
Baghdadi Jewish Networks in the Age of Nationalism explores different components of Baghdadi participation in global Jewish networks through the modernization of communal leadership, satellite communities, transnational Jewish philanthropy and secular education during the Hashemite period (1920-1951).