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Showing papers in "Jewish Social Studies in 2007"


Journal Article
TL;DR: This article pointed out that the role of the child victim in the representation of the Holocaust, especially in mainstream American life, can also distort, personalize, and de-historicize the Holocaust.
Abstract: This article points to the key role of the child victim in the representation of the Holocaust, especially in mainstream American life. Developing Peter Novick's claim that the Holocaust has been transformed into an "American memory," the author notes that virtually all breakthrough moments in non-Jewish American awareness of the Holocaust (The Diary of Anne Frank, Wiesel's Night, the NBC television movie Holocaust, Spielberg's Schindler's List, the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. ) have highlighted the role of children, whose defenselessness serves as a metaphor for the general plight of Holocaust victims. While rhetorically effective, the figure of the child victim can also distort, personalize, and dehistoricize the Holocaust, providing a false sense of solidarity and understanding in mainstream American audiences.

30 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Sixty Hymns and Poems of Yehudah Halevi (1924; 2nd ed. 1927) as mentioned in this paper is a collection of Hebrew poetry written by Rosenzweig.
Abstract: Among the diverse positions on the question of Zionism held by early-twentieth-century German Jewish intellectuals is the eccentric "non-Zionist" stance of Franz Rosenzweig (1886–1929). In a translation and commentary called Sixty Hymns and Poems of Yehudah Halevi (1924; 2nd ed. 1927), Rosenzweig aimed to contribute to and shift the discourse concerning Jewish distinctiveness and belonging in German culture. Critical in this effort was Rosenzweig's attention to the scriptural and liturgical elements of Yehudah Halevi's poetry, which he argued were emblematic of Jewish literary and textual culture. The structure, poetic choices, and commentary of Hymns and Poems, a volume long overlooked in Rosenzweig's oeuvre, is properly understood as a sustained meditation on Jewish diasporic life and the role of textuality in preserving it.

25 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this paper, two opposing trends have emerged in Polish postcommunist historiography with regard to the cliche of the procommunist and pro-Soviet and anti-Polish Jew.
Abstract: The article analyzes two opposing trends that have emerged in Polish postcommunist historiography with regard to the cliche of the procommunist and pro-Soviet and anti-Polish Jew. It traces the origins of this cliche and its development in Polish political thought during the interwar period and its persistence during and after World War II. At the center of the analysis is the application of this cliche in the debate about the Jedwabne massacre on July 10, 1941, by four (ethno)nationalist historians: Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Bogdan Musial, Tomasz Strzembosz, and Marek Wierzbicki. The article also focuses on the attempts at challenging the cliche in contemporary historiography by Jan T. Gross, Krzysztof Jasiewicz, Dariusz Libionka, and Andrzej Żbikowski.

20 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors analyzes the ways in which Haredi yeshivah students reflect on their exemption from military service in Israel and demonstrates that this view is composed of three aspects: an idealistic vision of yeshivot dedication and exemption from obligatory military service; students' critique on the yeshivas-based religiosity emphasized by contemporary leaders and founders of the community; and students' fantasy on Haredis military service and militarism.
Abstract: This article analyzes the ways in which Haredi yeshivah students reflect on their exemption from military service in Israel. It demonstrates that this view is composed of three aspects: an idealistic vision of yeshivah dedication and exemption from obligatory military service; students' critique on the yeshivah-based religiosity emphasized by contemporary leaders and founders of the community; and students' fantasy on Haredi military service and militarism. Analysis of the Haredi view on military service highlights a deep transformation in Haredi religiosity in Israel and changing relations with the Israeli state and society.

16 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: A Tale of Love and Darkness, Oz's memoir from 2003, has presented a profoundly different image of Amos Oz instead of the virile, confident Sabra, we encounter a boy whose world was shaped not only by Jerusalem of the 1940s but also by the Jewish experience in Eastern Europe as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Since the 1960s, when he emerged as one of the main literary voices of a new generation of Israeli writers, Amos Oz came to represent, both in his writings and in his public persona, the quintessential Sabra: the native-born Israeli Oz was resolute and confident but also contemplative and sensitive He became one of the main voices of Israel's peace camp, but he was also a believer in Israel's historical mission A Tale of Love and Darkness, Oz's memoir from 2003, has presented a profoundly different image of Amos Oz Instead of the virile, confident Sabra, we encounter a boy whose world was shaped not only by Jerusalem of the 1940s but also by the Jewish experience in Eastern Europe Oz as he emerges from A Tale of Love and Darkness is no longer the proud kibbutznik holding a plow in one hand and a pen in the other but an Ashkenazi Jew who seems to be haunted by the complexes and fears that his parents and grandparents brought with them from the Diaspora In an Israel now cosmopolitan and technologically advanced yet also more fractured, tribal, and diverse , A Tale of Love and Darkness offers a personal historical account that forgoes the grand national narrative which informed so much of Oz's earlier fiction as well as his nonfiction writing The memoir presents Oz as the voice of a particular group (secular Ashkenazim), which was once a dominant force in Israeli society but which, in recent years, finds itself to be one of many groups in an ever expanding Israeli cultural landscape

14 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examine the impact on Jewish communities and particularly on Jewish women of the entry of modern states into the domain of civil law, and reconstruct and analyze the divorce of Rachele Morschene of Trieste, who in 1796 became one of the first Jewish women to obtain a civil divorce in Christian Europe.
Abstract: An important aspect of Jewish emancipation was the regulation of Jewish marriage by civil law. This article examines the impact on Jewish communities and particularly on Jewish women of the entry of modern states into this domain. It reconstructs and analyzes the divorce of Rachele Morschene of Trieste, who in 1796 became one of the first Jewish women to obtain a civil divorce in Christian Europe. Indeed, she successfully negotiated both the new civil marriage law of the Habsburg monarchy (1783 Josephinian Marriage Patent) and Halakhah to become divorced both civilly and religiously. Her case illustrates Enlightenment and natural-law views of marriage and health because she strongly argued the mortal danger posed by her husband's venereal disease. The novel legal situation led to negotiation of procedure and authority by Jewish leaders and state officials as well as greater room for Jewish women's initiative in divorce than traditionally allowed by Jewish law and custom.

13 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examine the efforts of the French rabbinate to harmonize conflicts between Jewish and civil law that arose from the collective naturalization of Algerian Jewry in 1870.
Abstract: Through an examination of the innovative halakhic efforts of the French rabbinate during the nineteenth century to resolve tensions and contradictions between civil and Jewish law in the thorny area of marriage, this article sheds light on the extent to which French rabbis were prepared to harmonize Judaism with French civic norms. I first analyze rabbinic responses to clandestine religious marriages, which were illegal according to French law but technically valid according to Jewish law. I then discuss the efforts of the French rabbinate to harmonize conflicts between Jewish and civil law that arose from the collective naturalization of Algerian Jewry in 1870. Finally, I address two controversial rabbinic proposals for the harmonization of Jewish and civil divorce following the reinstitution of civil divorce during the Third Republic. As I show, in addressing the problems of clandestine marriages, recalcitrant brothers-in-law, and recalcitrant spouses, the religious leaders of French Jewry exercised moderation as they did in other religious matters.

10 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: The authors examines the cultural interaction between various Jewish communities and Jewish self-fashioning in the eighteenth century through a close reading of Rabbi Hayim Yosef David Azulai's travelogue, Ma'gal tov.
Abstract: This article examines the cultural interaction between various Jewish communities and Jewish self-fashioning in the eighteenth century through a close reading of Rabbi Hayim Yosef David Azulai's travelogue, Ma‘gal tov. Azulai traveled as an emissary to raise funds on behalf of the Holy Land to western Europe and to Tunisia. The account of his encounters with other Jewish communities during his extensive travels in the 1750s and 1770s provides a richly textured source for understanding Jewish identity in the eighteenth century.

9 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine the nature of Jewish identity in British politics through a case study of the first Jewish Members of Parliament and reveal the ambiguous nature of nineteenth-century Anglo-Jewish identity, highlighting its integration but also continuing particularity and precariousness.
Abstract: This article examines the nature of Jewish identity in British politics through a case study of the first Jewish Members of Parliament. The 1858 achievement of the right to sit in Parliament marked the culmination of the struggle for Jewish emancipation in Britain. Consequently, the first Jewish MPs were at the forefront of debates concerning Anglo-Jewry's place in British society and were confronted, in particular, with the dichotomy that equality presented European Jews: existing as a minority subculture in a modern nation-state. Between 1858 and 1887, Jewish MPs grew in number and successfully combined Jewish and general interests with little antisemitic reproach, demonstrating a remarkable confluence between the community's and the nation's concerns. However, certain issues raised tensions that forced Anglo-Jewry to defend their specificity within British politics against the perceived terms of their inclusion. This article reveals the ambiguous nature of nineteenth-century Anglo-Jewish identity, highlighting its integration but also continuing particularity and precariousness.

8 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the authors discuss the phenomenon of Jewish conversion to Islam in Yemen in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, mainly in the tribal-rural areas where the majority of the Jews lived.
Abstract: The article discusses the phenomenon of Jewish conversion to Islam in Yemen in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, mainly in the tribal-rural areas where the majority of the Jews lived. This phenomenon is explained against the background of political, social, and economic developments: the intervention in Yemen of outside forces; the penetration of the world economy; and the weakening of Jewish institutions. Religious conversion is presented as a familiar and tempting phenomenon in Jewish life. Social considerations are put forward as the main reasons for Islamization, whereas the role of religious conviction is seen as insignificant. The article also deals with the symbolic meanings of the conversion ceremony and with its practical implications-in the convert's community of origin and in his or her new community. This article is based on oral history, on personal interviews with Yemeni Jews now living in Israel, and on written sources such as letters, memoirs, itinerary books, and legal writings on issues resulting from conversion.

8 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: The Paper Clip Project as discussed by the authors collects six million of a particular object (such as paper clips, buttons, or shoes) to symbolize the murdered people in the Holocaust, which encourages one to "play" through it, and thereby redirects attention away from finished memorials toward the processes of memorialization themselves.
Abstract: This essay concerns memorial collecting, a new trend in Holocaust education and memorialization whereby groups, often student groups, accumulate six million of a particular object (such as paper clips, buttons, or shoes) to symbolize the murdered. Rather than "work" through the past, memorial collecting encourages one to "play" through it, and thereby redirects attention away from finished memorials toward the processes of memorialization themselves. Nevertheless, official institutions of Holocaust memory often refuse to support memorial collections and accuse them of trivializing the Holocaust. Using the example of the "Paper Clip Project" (the Children's Holocaust Memorial in Whitwell, Tennessee), I examine some of these controversies and what they imply for Holocaust memory.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A comparison of the acculturation of Chinese Jews with that of Muslims in Imperial China shows that the small size of the Jewish community and its lack of contact with other Jewish communities for a long period made it particularly susceptible to the influence of the Chinese milieu as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: The permeable boundaries of the major components of Chinese religion (Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism) and the relatively tolerant pluralism of the religious milieu are important factors in accounting for the religious acculturation of the Jewish community in the Chinese city of Kaifeng. A comparison of the acculturation of Chinese Jews with that of Muslims in Imperial China shows that, though the small size of the Jewish community and its lack of contact with other Jewish communities for a long period made it particularly susceptible to the influence of the Chinese milieu, this milieu was conducive to the acculturation of even a large minority. The unwillingness of the Catholic Church to compromise with the syncretistic milieu and its demand for an exclusive commitment from Chinese converts led to the expulsion of its missionaries. A comparison of Buddhism and Islam in China indicates that an important social structural basis for the long survival of the Kaifeng Jewish community was the combination of communal and congregational religion.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examines the Frenchman Bernard Picart's etchings of Amsterdam's Jewish community, published in 1723 in the initial volume of Ceremonies et coutumes religieuses de tous les peuples du monde.
Abstract: This article examines the Frenchman Bernard Picart's etchings of Amsterdam's Jewish community, published in 1723 in the initial volume of Ceremonies et coutumes religieuses de tous les peuples du monde. It is here, for one of the first times, that "the Jew" was not understood as a singular type, nor was the Jew acquired by the colonizer. We can only understand why Picart was so interested in portraying the Jew as two separate types by considering his work in the context of extra-aesthetic factors. Picart's imagery functions as a critique of the mass influx of a second "type" of Jew, the Ashkenazi or east European Jew, who dominated Amsterdam by the eighteenth century.

Journal Article
TL;DR: In early 1840, France was rocked by the news that, following the disappearance in Damascus of a Capuchin monk and his assistant, the Jews of that town had been accused of ritual murder as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: In early 1840, France was rocked by the news that, following the disappearance in Damascus of a Capuchin monk and his assistant, the Jews of that town had been accused of ritual murder. French political interests in the region meant that they took a great interest in the proceedings. Feeding this interest was an ongoing fascination with the Orient, including its Jewish population. The willingness of many French to believe that the Jews of Damascus were indeed guilty of ritual murder was fueled by depictions of Oriental Jews as rapacious or sensual. In France, Jews were conspicuously involved in trying to help their coreligionists in Damascus, and this led some commentators to question their loyalties. Orientalist stereotypes of Jews ultimately led to freer and more aggressive criticism of Jews in French society. The Damascus Affair provided the starting point for such criticism.

Journal Article
TL;DR: The American jurist Louis Marshall (1856-1929) was widely regarded in his day as one of the country's most significant Jewish leaders as discussed by the authors, who played a highly public and frequently pivotal role as an advocate of legal protections for marginalized individuals and minority groups.
Abstract: The American jurist Louis Marshall (1856-1929) was widely regarded in his day as one of the country's most significant Jewish leaders. Rooted in the patrician and politically conservative "German Jewish" milieu of the post-Civil War era, Marshall was a prominent New York lawyer who played a highly public and frequently pivotal role as an advocate of legal protections for marginalized individuals and minority groups. Likewise, Marshall's stewardship of American Jewish affairs stemmed from a strong combination of self-interest and profound belief in American democracy. He was a formidable legal presence who demonstrated extraordinary juridical talent and an ability to access the levers of American judicial power. His dual role as a communal steward and commanding legal figure raises important historical questions. This article suggests that Marshall's activism and legal approach reveals a curious admixture of political sensitivities that became a hallmark of the American Jewish experience.

Journal Article
TL;DR: In the early twentieth century, as Trieste was transforming from a Habsburg entrepot to an Italian port, the small but influential Jewish community fostered the development of the city as a "gateway to Zion," an outlet for Jewish emigration to Palestine as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: In the early twentieth century, as Trieste was transforming from a Habsburg entrepot to an Italian port, the small but influential Jewish community fostered the development of the city as a "gateway to Zion," an outlet for Jewish emigration to Palestine. Though little interested in a Jewish homeland for themselves, the Jews of Trieste supported Zionist efforts as a philanthropic responsibility and also for pragmatic reasons linked to Italian aspirations in the Mediterranean. As Central European Jewish emigration through the port increased, particularly after the rise of Nazism in Germany, the historically tolerant climate for Triestine Jews eroded, and their Italian national allegiances were questioned. Suspicion of Zionism, well established in Fascism, transformed into anti-Jewish attitudes. After Italy's promulgation of racial laws in 1938, Jews' engagement in emigration networks that had become a political liability allowed native Triestine Jews a means of escape from Fascist persecution.

Journal Article
TL;DR: Peretz's first extended narrative in Yiddish is as discussed by the authors, focusing on the psychological and structural features of the narrator as a failed mediator between cosmopolitan modernity and traditional Jewishness.
Abstract: This article offers a formal analysis of Y. L. Peretz's first extended narrative in Yiddish. Focusing on the psychological and structural features of the narrator as a failed mediator between cosmopolitan modernity and traditional Jewishness, the article locates this narrative historically in the development of modern Yiddish fiction and demonstrates the various techniques through which Peretz expands the stylistic possibilities for Yiddish fiction from post-Enlightenment satire to naturalism, symbolism, and other proto-modernist strategies. At the heart of Peretz's distinctive achievement are his use of a local, archaic Yiddish to estrange the traditional characters from the narrator, and his manipulation of a fragmented narrative structure to subvert the positivist assumptions of the narrator's modernizing ideology. What emerges, therefore, from the author's "failure" to create a realist travelogue is an anticipatory experiment in the development of Yiddish High Modernism.

Journal Article
TL;DR: The authors analyzes how Lazarus Bendavid and Johann Gottlieb Fichte, in their 1793 texts, presented similar fantasies of integrating Jews into the state by decapitating Jewish heads.
Abstract: This article analyzes how Lazarus Bendavid and Johann Gottlieb Fichte, in their 1793 texts, presented similar fantasies of integrating Jews into the state by decapitating Jewish heads. Such fantasies reached back to the Kantian foundation of each philosopher's conception of humanity and morality. Approaching the question of extending civil rights to Jews from the standpoint of the normative Kantian moral subject, both Bendavid and Fichte came to the conclusion that the only way to accommodate Jews into the civil sphere was through the paradoxical and gruesome means of (symbolic) decapitation. Because it dramatically exemplifies possible dangers in Kantian moral universalism, Bendavid's peripheral and aberrant contribution to the celebrated corpus of Jewish Kantian philosophy can productively complicate how that tradition understood itself and how we continue to see it.