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.

PREFACE EWISH communal history throughout the millennia of diaspora life has long been the subject of considerable scholarly attention. The European community of the pre- Emancipation era, especially, has for decades attracted modern investigators by its numerous extraordinary fea-tures. Its remarkable combination of religious and secular authority, its almost “ extraterritorial” status and “ sovereign” political powers and its overwhelming control over its mem-bers have flattered the political ambitions of nationally-minded modern Jews, but antagonized many reformers and anti- segregationists. Philo- Sémites and anti- Semites among the non- Jews, too, have often held definite opinions about the “ ghetto” community. Like their Jewish confreres, however, they, too, have frequently substituted one or an-other bias for reliable information and sound reasoning. It is hoped that this first attempt at a comprehensive his-torical and sociological analysis of the entire communal evo-lution to the Emancipation era will help to promote clarity, if not unanimity of appraisal. Apart from the usual embarrassment in defining the highly ambiguous term “ community” — it is used here in the prevailing, organizational sense which is even narrower than that of the German Gemeinde — students of communal aspects of Jewish history are beset by two opposing difficul-ties: an extreme dearth of material for certain areas and pe-riods and a plethora of extant information on other regions and epochs. Modern literature on the subject, too, is un-evenly distributed and much repetition in one field is vii 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

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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