The Diaspora Dimension, 1st Edition by Arnold Ages (auth.)

By Arnold Ages (auth.)

Few questions have agitated considerate Jews up to the only referring to identification. the matter arose initially from the placement of the Jews as a diaspora group. From the time of Philo and doubtless ahead of, nice energies were expended via Jews in trying to comprehend the that means of the Jewish dispersion. in recent years the matter has been remodeled from a mostly educational and relig­ ious factor right into a political one, to wit the livid debates in glossy Israel over the citizenship obstacle. For greater than 20 years now the Jewish nation has been rocked by means of violent and sometimes acrimonious dialogue over the who's a Jew controversy. the results of those exchanges have had reverberations everywhere in the Jewish global considering a last decision of this factor couldn't yet have vital touching on present-day diaspora groups. For purposes which are usual and comprehensible Israeli historians equivalent to Baer, Dinur and Kauffman have written widely and brilliantly in regards to the diaspora dimensionin Jewishhistory. Theirfocus, even if, has been stimulated strongly by way of the re-birth of Israel as a political entity during this century. This has predisposed them now not unex­ pectedly to view the large ancient sweep of diaspora historical past aspart of a spectrum which displays the go back to Israel as a dominant shading within the analysis.

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The priest was obviously suggesting that the alleged rejection of Jesus by the Jews had produced the more lengthy exile. The rabbi answers that in the period of the first Temple the Jews sinned by worshipping idoIs; in the period of the Second Temple the Jews committed a far more serious crime, - they began to worship arnan. The exilic punishment, argues the rabbi, is commensurate with the gravity of the sin. Such intellectual legerdemain was not likely to endear French Jews to their hosts and in fact that kind of frank rebuttal often earned Jewish disputants public condemnation and expulsion.

Jewish history is a unique history," affirms Ellis Rivkind. "It is like and yet unlike the history of any other entity. It involves the vicissitudes of a people, a nation, a land, yet it is more than national history. It incIudes the evolution of a world religion, yet it is not simply the history of a religious faith. It has persisted through time as distinctively different, yet it is the history of continuous adaptation. Jewish history is unique, for no other history is so long and so complex.

It taught its children to conquer the Gentile 9 Ernest Van den Haag, The Jewish Mystique (New York, 1969), pp. 16, 17. "lO Perhaps the most appropriate example of Jewish marginaIity serving to fructify the Amelican experience is Max Lerner's first comprehensive attempt to synthesize what he terms the American civilization. The marginality concept has coexisted from the initial diaspora experience of the Jews in antiquity. But because of the pressures of Christendom from the fourth century onward, Jews had little opportunity untiI the Emancipation, to express their bold visions and innovative thoughts.

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