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CHAPTER I QUEST FOR NEW

by Salo W. Baron
CHAPTER I QUEST FOR NEW FORMS EWISH community” has become an equivocal concept. It embodies the wide variety of meanings generally attached in sociological and juristic literature to the termcommunity. 1  The complexity of connotations has moreover been increased by uncertainties associated with the adjec-tive “ Jewish.” To the controversy of the recent decades con-cerning the primacy of the religious or national element in the Jewish people have been added the effects of Nazi policy, which includes in the Jewish community all “ racial” Jews, i. e. persons whose “ blood” is at least one- quarter Jewish. While both religious and nationalist Jews have always agreed as to the meaning of the Jewish community of de-scent, destiny and culture, they have also insisted on the preponderance of a subjective criterion, i. e. voluntary alle-giance of an individual whether to his religious denomina-tion or to his ethnic group. According to the Nazi doctrine, however, subjectivity is entirely eliminated, and member-ship in the Jewish community is immutable and wholly independent of individual will. Even persons born and bred in the Christian religion, who throughout their life partici-pated in some European national culture without ever hav-ing known that they had Jewish parentage, become, imme-diately upon discovery of such parentage, members of the Jewish community. 3 J“   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com

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CHAPTER I QUEST FOR NEW FORMS EWISH community” has become an equivocal concept. It embodies the wide variety of meanings generally attached in sociological and juristic literature to the term community. 1 The complexity of connotations has moreover been increased by uncertainties associated with the adjec-tive “ Jewish.” To the controversy of the recent decades con-cerning the primacy of the religious or national element in the Jewish people have been added the effects of Nazi policy, which includes in the Jewish community all “ racial” Jews, i. e. persons whose “ blood” is at least one- quarter Jewish. While both religious and nationalist Jews have always agreed as to the meaning of the Jewish community of de-scent, destiny and culture, they have also insisted on the preponderance of a subjective criterion, i. e. voluntary alle-giance of an individual whether to his religious denomina-tion or to his ethnic group. According to the Nazi doctrine, however, subjectivity is entirely eliminated, and member-ship in the Jewish community is immutable and wholly independent of individual will. Even persons born and bred in the Christian religion, who throughout their life partici-pated in some European national culture without ever hav-ing known that they had Jewish parentage, become, imme-diately upon discovery of such parentage, members of the Jewish community. 3 J“ < < C h a p t e r >> Home | T O C For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com
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Varda Books - 1-59045-193-7


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