Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition by David Nirenberg

By David Nirenberg

A robust background that exhibits anti-Judaism to be a vital frame of mind within the Western tradition.
This incisive background upends the complacency that confines anti-Judaism to the ideological extremes within the Western culture. With deep studying and style, David Nirenberg exhibits how foundational anti-Judaism is to the heritage of the West.

Questions of ways we're Jewish and, extra significantly, how and why we're not were churning in the Western mind's eye all through its background. historical Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans; Christians and Muslims of each interval; even the secularists of modernity have used Judaism in developing their visions of the area. The thrust of this practice construes Judaism as an competition, a risk usually from inside of, to be criticized, attacked, and eradicated. The intersections of those principles with the area of power—the Roman destruction of the second one Temple, the Spanish Inquisition, the German Holocaust—are renowned. The methods of concept underlying those tragedies are available on the very beginning of Western background.

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From all accounts, he was unruly and independent, and often punished. But his powerful and original mind and superb gift of exposition made him outstanding among the younger scholars. Thirteen years after the illiterate shepherd youth had started to learn the alphabet, Akiba set up his own school at B’nai Brak, to which the most promising pupils in the country were attracted. From among them emerged the leading scholars and teachers of the next generation. Akiba’s great contribution to the Law was an editorial one.

The Diaspora of his birth was Galicia. His father, a fur trader, was a scholarly man who taught the boy Talmud, while his mother told him stories from German literature. At the age of eight he was writing poetry and by 1904 was regularly publishing poetry and prose in Hebrew and Yiddish. In 1907, with his family’s reluctant consent, he went to Palestine and became secretary to Chovevei Zion in Jaffa. He published his first story, Agunot (‘Deserted Wives’) a year later and signed it Agnon, which became his official name in 1924.

A wealthy man, he had influence at the court of King Alfonso x, who granted him estates in Seville and with whom he travelled to France in 1275. Five years later the esteem in which the king held Todros proved to be of value. Alfonso had arrested all the Jewish tax-farmers and forced them by torture into accepting baptism. On Todros’ appeal, the tax-farmers were released. His son, Joseph, also a Cabbalist, was friendly with Moses de LEON, the probable author of the Zohar (‘Book of Splendour’) and between 1287 and 1292 dedicated a number of works to him, although none of these books has survived.

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