Historical Reprints JEWISH HISTORY

JEWISH HISTORY

JEWISH HISTORY
Catalog # SKU1156
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name S. M. Dubnow
 
$14.95
Quantity

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JEWISH HISTORY
AN ESSAY IN
THE PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY
S. M. DUBNOW


TGS Historical Reprints brings back this wonderful, concise history of the Jewish peoples. Dubnow writes a Rare, but delightful, insight into Jewish Nationalism, before Israel was formed by the United Nations.

What is Jewish History? In the first place, what does it offer as to quantity and as to quality? What are its range and content, and what distinguishes it in these two respects from the history of other nations? Furthermore, what is the essential meaning, what the spirit, of Jewish History? Or, to put the question in another way, to what general results are we led by the aggregate of its facts, considered, not as a whole, but genetically, as a succession of evolutionary stages in the consciousness and education of the Jewish people?

If we could find precise answers to these several questions, they would constitute a characterization of Jewish History as accurate as is attainable. To present such a characterization succinctly is the purpose of the following essay.

Excerpt from Chapter VII
THE TERTIARY TALMUDIC OR
NATIONAL-RELIGIOUS PERIOD:

The most sympathetic aspects of the Jewish spirit in that epoch are revealed in the moral and poetic elements of the Talmud, in the Agada. They are the receptacles into which the people poured all its sentiments, its whole soul. They are a clear reflex of its inner world, its feelings, hopes, ideals.

The collective work of the nation and the trend of history have left much plainer traces in the Agada than in the dry, methodical Halacha. In the Agada the learned jurist and formalist appears transformed into a sage or poet, conversing with the people in a warm, cordial tone, about the phenomena of nature, history, and life. The reader is often thrown into amazement by the depth of thought and the loftiness of feeling manifested in the Agada. Involuntarily one pays the tribute of reverence to its practical wisdom, to its touching legends pervaded by the magic breath of poesy, to the patriarchal purity of its views. But these pearls are not strung upon one string, they are not arranged in a complete system.

They are imbedded here and there, in gay variety, in a vast mass of heterogeneous opinions and sentiments naive at times and at times eccentric. The reader becomes aware of the thoughts before they are consolidated. They are still in a fluid, mobile state, still in process of making. The same vivacious, versatile spirit is revealed in the Midrashim literature, directly continuing the Agada up to the end of the middle ages. These two species of Jewish literature, the Agada and the Midrashim, have a far greater absolute value than the Halacha. The latter is an official work, the former a national product. Like every other special legislation, the Halacha is bound to definite conditions and times, while the Agada concerns itself with the eternal verities. The creations of the philosophers, poets, and moralists are more permanent than the work of legislators.

Beautiful as the Agada is, and with all its profundity, it lacks breadth. It rests wholly on the national, not on a universal basis. It would be vain to seek in it for the comprehensive universalism of the Prophets. Every lofty ideal is claimed as exclusively Jewish. So far from bridging over the chasm between Israel and the other nations, knowledge and morality served to widen it. It could not be otherwise, there was no influx of air from without.

The national horizon grew more and more contracted. The activities of the people gathered intensity, but in the same measure they lost in breadth. It was the only result to be expected from the course of history in those ages. Let us try to conceive what the first five centuries of the Christian era, the centuries during which the Talmud was built up, meant in the life of mankind. Barbarism, darkness, and elemental outbreaks of man's migratory instincts, illustrated by the "great migration of races," are characteristic features of those centuries.

It was a wretched transition period between the fall of the world of antique culture and the first germinating of a new Christian civilization. The Orient, the centre and hearth of Judaism, was shrouded in impenetrable darkness. In Palestine and in Babylonia, their two chief seats, the Jews were surrounded by nations that still occupied the lowest rung of the ladder of civilization, that had not yet risen above naive mysticism in religion, or continued to be immersed in superstitions of the grossest sort.

Chapter Synopsis

I
THE RANGE OF JEWISH HISTORY
Historical and Unhistorical Peoples
Three Groups of Nations
The "Most Historical" People
Extent of Jewish History

II
THE CONTENT OF JEWISH HISTORY

Two Periods of Jewish History
The Period of Independence
The Election of the Jewish People Priests and Prophets
The Babylonian Exile and the Scribes
The Dispersion
Jewish History and Universal History
Jewish History Characterized

III
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JEWISH HISTORY

The National Aspect of Jewish History
The Historical Consciousness
The National Idea and National Feeling
The Universal Aspect of Jewish History
An Historical Experiment
A Moral Discipline
Humanitarian Significance of Jewish History
Schleiden and George Eliot

IV
THE HISTORICAL SYNTHESIS

Three Primary Periods
Four Composite Periods

V
THE PRIMARY OR BIBLICAL PERIOD

Cosmic Origin of the Jewish Religion
Tribal Organization
Egyptian Influence and Experiences
Moses
Mosaism a Religious & Moral as well as a Social & Political System
National Deities
The Prophets and the two Kingdoms
Judaism a Universal Religion

VI
THE SECONDARY OR SPIRITUAL-POLITICAL PERIOD

Growth of National Feeling
Ezra and Nehemiah
The Scribes
Hellenism
The Maccabees
Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes
Alexandrian Jews
Christianity

VII
THE TERTIARY TALMUDIC OR NATIONAL-RELIGIOUS PERIOD

The Isolation of Jewry and Judaism
The Mishna
The Talmud
Intellectual Activity in Palestine and Babylonia
The Agada and the Midrash
Unification of Judaism

VIII
THE GAONIC PERIOD, OR THE HEGEMONY OF THE ORIENTAL JEWS (500-980)

The Academies
Islam
Karaism
Beginning of Persecutions in Europe
Arabic Civilization in Europe

IX
THE RABBINIC-PHILOSOPHICAL PERIOD, OR THE HEGEMONY OF THE SPANISH JEWS (980-1492)

The Spanish Jews
The Arabic-Jewish Renaissance
The Crusades and the Jews
Degradation of the Jews in Christian Europe
The Provence
The Lateran Council
The Kabbala
Expulsion from Spain

X
THE RABBINIC-MYSTICAL PERIOD, OR THE HEGEMONY OF THE GERMAN-POLISH JEWS (1492-1789)

The Humanists and the Reformation
Palestine an Asylum for Jews
Messianic Belief and Hopes
Holland a Jewish Centre
Poland and the Jews
The Rabbinical Authorities of Poland
Isolation of the Polish Jews
Mysticism and the Practical Kabbala
Chassidism
Persecutions and Morbid Piety

XI
THE MODERN PERIOD OF ENLIGHTENMENT (THE NINETEENTH CENTURY)

The French Revolution
The Jewish Middle Ages Spiritual and Civil Emancipation
The Successors of Mendelssohn Zunz and the Science of Judaism
The Modern Movements outside of Germany
The Jew in Russia
His Regeneration
Anti-Semitism and Judophobia

XII
THE TEACHINGS OF JEWISH HISTORY

Jewry a Spiritual Community
Jewry Indestructible
The Creative Principle of Jewry
The Task of the Future
The Jew and the Nations
The Ultimate Ideal

Softbound, 5.5x8, 140+ pages

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