Download e-book for iPad: Antisemitism by Levy, Richard S., Lindemann, Albert S. & Richard S. Levy

By Levy, Richard S., Lindemann, Albert S. & Richard S. Levy

ISBN-10: 0199235023

ISBN-13: 9780199235025

ISBN-10: 0199235031

ISBN-13: 9780199235032

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The third of the above interpretations, stressing divine will, must be accepted in some sense by all believers in an omnipotent, omniscient, and just god. However, it is not the kind of explanation that modern historians consider adequate. Even for believers it presents some daunting interpretive challenges. At any rate, after the Holocaust to view Jewish suffering as just punishment for Jewish sins is widely dismissed as abhorrent. In broader application, blaming the victim is taboo today, but beyond the facile way that phrase is sometimes used are some substantial issues, since blame or responsibility, especially when speaking of groups or collectivities, are concepts with remarkably blurred edges.

Jews have only rarely ruled over non-Jews. The identities of each in relation to the other have been decisively influenced by their different experiences of power. A perceived rise in the power of Jewish minorities has repeatedly evoked hostile reactions by non-Jews. Jews themselves, even when a politically weak minority of the population, had, in a sense, to deal with a Gentile question; intricate rules regulating relations of the goy kadosh with the goyim grew up over the centuries, always concerned to preserve the Jewish sense of separateness and to avoid as much as possible the perceived pollutions and corruptions of close contact with non-Jews.

This definition also implicitly touches on the issue of power, since the exclusion of Jews from the private spaces of the powerful has unquestionably had wide-ranging negative implications for Jews throughout history. But such a sweeping definition has some awkward aspects, for it seems to place those Jews who do not welcome non-Jews into Jewish private spaces in a category of bigotry comparable to that of antisemitism. There is again the important complicating factor of power, but Jewish identity over the ages has notably involved a cultivation of Jewish private spaces, linked to an emotional distancing from non-Jews.

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Antisemitism by Levy, Richard S., Lindemann, Albert S. & Richard S. Levy

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