7 Converts to Judaism Apostasy and Jewish identity Converts to Judaism T he Jewish ethos sees the Jew as unique, by virtue of his being the offspring of the chosen group of people who left Egypt, stood at Mount Sinai, received God’s Torah, and entered into an eternal covenant with God. This ethos constituted the foundation of the Jew’s identity during the Middle Ages. The concept is expressed in the personality of the Jew and is transmitted in a direct and unmediated way to his descendants. Thus, only a Jew, himself the descendant of Jews, can recite the
The prevailing historiographies of Jewish life in England suggest that religious representations of the Jews in the early modern period were confined to the margins and fringes of society by the desacralization of English life. Such representations are mostly neglected in the scholarly literature for the latter half of the long eighteenth century, and English Methodist texts in particular have received little attention. This article addresses these lacunae by examining the discourse of Adam Clarke (1760/2–1832), an erudite Bible scholar, theologian, preacher and author and a prominent, respected, Methodist scholar. Significantly, the more overt demonological representations were either absent from Clarke‘s discourse, or only appeared on a few occasions, and were vague as to who or what was signified. However, Clarke portrayed biblical Jews as perfidious, cruel, murderous, an accursed seed, of an accursed breed and radically and totally evil. He also commented on contemporary Jews (and Catholics), maintaining that they were foolish, proud, uncharitable, intolerant and blasphemous. He argued that in their eternal, wretched, dispersed condition, the Jews demonstrated the veracity of biblical prophecy, and served an essential purpose as living monuments to the truth of Christianity.
In this article on book circulation, I survey twelve English library auction catalogues from the period 1676–97, in order to show how interest in the writings of the Amsterdam rabbi Menasseh ben Israel (1604–57) continued after his death. I do this by identifying the circulation of his works in Puritan personal libraries. I focus particularly on the library auction catalogues of leading Puritans, notably Lazarus Seaman, Thomas Manton, Stephen Charnock and John Owen. I also show that of all Menasseh’s books, De resurrectione mortuorum libri III was the one most frequently owned by Puritan divines. This article demonstrates how books helped to catalyse the boundary-crossing nature of the Jewish–Christian encounter in seventeenth-century England.
The brothers Emile and Isaac Pereire were among the descendants of the Spanish conversos and Portuguese refugees from auto da fe. They were to become pivotal and sensational figures in nineteenth-century France, their lives and careers a lens through which to re-examine its history. In their relationship to Judaism, in their Saint-Simonianism, their socialism, their partnership, their business practices, their political allegiance, they have been subjects of criticism, comment and analysis by historians and others for over 150 years. This book uses the lives of these individuals to re-examine the history of France in the nineteenth century. It first deals with the 'making' of their grandsons, two Jewish boys born after the Revolution into the close-knit Sephardic community of Bordeaux. Then, it shows how, through Saint-Simonianism, Emile and Isaac Pereire found their vocation as railway entrepreneurs. The economic and financial reforms advocated by Saint-Simon and his followers came to be realised with the coming of rail to France. The book deals with the stage of railway development in France which followed the inauguration of the Paris-St-Germain (PSG) line, the hesitant administrative arrangements, and the insufficiency of investment capital to finance railway development. Next, it addresses the roles and methods of Emile and Isaac Pereire and of their family in what they treated as 'a family business'.
In this study, the various aspects of the way the Jews regarded themselves in the context of the lapse into another religion will be researched fully for the first time. We will attempt to understand whether they regarded the issue of conversion with self-confidence or with suspicion, whether their attitude was based on a clear theological position or on doubt and the coping with the problem as part of the process of socialization will be fully analysed. In this way, we will better understand how the Jews saw their own identity whilst living as a minority among the Christian majority, whose own self-confidence was constantly becoming stronger from the 10th to the 14th century until they eventually ousted the Jews completely from the places they lived in, England, France and large parts of Germany. This aspect of Jewish self-identification, written by a person who converted to Christianity, can help clarify a number of
Judaism. The view that remains holds that the position of those who hesitate whether or not to return to Judaism must not be weakened, coupled with the consideration that, from a propaganda viewpoint, it was important to leave a spark of hope in the hearts of those who remained Jews so that they not see the conversion of Jews to Christianity as a success of Christian theology, because those Jews would also sooner or later return to the fold. The halakhic writings relate to numerous questions presented for discussion to those authorities, either sitting as Rabbinic
movements other than his own. Finally I look at see how Zionism ﬁtted into Hertz’s theological outlook. Having established Hertz’s religious attitudes, I trace their origins, identify Hertz’s religious and intellectual inspirations, and then contrast Hertz’s views with those of Jewish religious leaders with different attitudes and see how Hertz’s approach can be seen as a reaction to those attitudes and as interventions in an ongoing debate within Judaism. As with Adler, we examine Hertz’s theology for two reasons: ﬁrst, because it is worthy of study in its own right, but
, for there were divisions between Hirsch and Hildesheimer as well as between them and Frankel. To make sense of this, we need to understand the Wissenschaft and Torah im derekh erets movements, their relationship to ‘tradition’ (a term we will have to deﬁne), how they were regarded by others in the Jewish, and particularly in the rabbinic community, and how those who followed these approaches regarded themselves. Wissenschaft des Judentums (literally, the science of Judaism, although it is better understood as the application of modern scholarly methods to the study
’s perceived relentless and violent anti-Judaism, than by any intrinsic lack of literary or cultural value. The variety of new readings generated by this poem which once existed, as Ralph Hanna notes, ‘on the suppressed margins of critical attention, unaccompanied by commentary’,3 testifies to its increasing importance in medieval studies. Yet even as a community of readers work to recuperate Jerusalem from its marginal placement, with few exceptions they continue to read the narrative as thoroughly anti-Judaic.4 My argument concerning the poem is predicated on a