The Jewish Community: Its History and...

This is the first volume of the work that is centered on the European Jewish community of the Middle Ages and early modern times. The author offers a comprehensive historical and sociological analysis of the Jewish communal evolution during the Emancipation era.

4 THE JEWISH COMMUNITY Such a type of community is, of course, entirely new and unprecedented. Its major weakness consists not only in the obvious untruth of its underlying philosophy based on illu-sory pseudo- scientific assumptions concerning race — many an historic illusion has proved a powerful vehicle of progress or reaction — but also in its thorough repudiation by the members themselves. Certainly no human organi-zation can long endure unless it meets with the approval of those whose needs it is supposed to serve. In any case, the experience of the Jewish community under the Nazi regime has been too brief, its work too much handicapped by antag-onistic legislation, its functions so candidly transitional to complete annihilation that no far- reaching conclusions may be drawn as to its nature, durability and workability under less extreme conditions. 1. RELIGIOUS OR ETHNIC COMMUNITY? Long before the rise of Hitler to power, a lively debate on the essential nature of the Jewish community and its cor-responding organizational forms was carried on inside and outside the Jewish camp. The indubitable effect of the gen-eral secularization of the western world, concomitant with the rise of capitalism, democracy, Jewish emancipation and scientific rationalism, has so deeply transformed all phases of Jewish individual and group life that the Jewish commu-nity, organizational reflection of that life, has become the subject of burning controversy. In western Europe and America, the religious factor has retained its preëminent position in the scale of communal values. Even where communities have been divided, offi-cially or unofficially, among adherents of old- time orthodoxy   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

The Jewish Community: Its History and Structure to the American Revolution. Vol. I.


About Book The Jewish Community: Its History and Structure to the American Revolution. Vol. I.

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