The Origin of the Jews

The Quest for Roots in a Rootless Age

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Author: Steven Weitzman

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400884934

Category: Religion

Page: 408

View: 6954

The first major history of the scholarly quest to answer the question of Jewish origins The Jews have one of the longest continuously recorded histories of any people in the world, but what do we actually know about their origins? While many think the answer to this question can be found in the Bible, others look to archaeology or genetics. Some skeptics have even sought to debunk the very idea that the Jews have a common origin. In this book, Steven Weitzman takes a learned and lively look at what we know—or think we know—about where the Jews came from, when they arose, and how they came to be. Scholars have written hundreds of books on the topic and have come up with scores of explanations, theories, and historical reconstructions, but this is the first book to trace the history of the different approaches that have been applied to the question, including genealogy, linguistics, archaeology, psychology, sociology, and genetics. Weitzman shows how this quest has been fraught since its inception with religious and political agendas, how anti-Semitism cast its long shadow over generations of learning, and how recent claims about Jewish origins have been difficult to disentangle from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He does not offer neatly packaged conclusions but invites readers on an intellectual adventure, shedding new light on the assumptions and biases of those seeking answers—and the challenges that have made finding answers so elusive. Spanning more than two centuries and drawing on the latest findings, The Origin of the Jews brings needed clarity and historical context to this enduring and often divisive topic.

The Origin of the Jews

The Quest for Roots in a Rootless Age

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Author: Steven Weitzman

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780691174600

Category: Religion

Page: 394

View: 7626

"The Jews have one of the longest continuously recorded histories of any people in the world, but what do we actually know about their origins? While many think the answer to this question can be found in the Bible, others look to archaeology or genetics ... in this book, Steven Weitzman takes a learned and lively look at what we know - or think we know - about where the Jews came from, when they arose, and how they came to be"--Jacket.

Kings of the Jews

The Origins of the Jewish Nation

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Author: Norman Gelb

Publisher: Jewish Publication Society

ISBN: 0827609132

Category: Religion

Page: 246

View: 9983

We all know about King David and King Solomon, but what about the kings Omri and Uzziah? Of the more than fifty monarchs who sat on the throne of the Jews for over 1000 years, most of us can recall only a few. What we do remember about them has been colored by legend and embellishment. In Kings of the Jews, Norman Gelb tells us the real stories of them all. And in doing so, he reveals how a remarkably resilient people survived divisions, discord, and conquest to forge a vibrant identity that has lasted to the present day. Kings of the Jews explores some of the most dramatic periods in Jewish history: those of the united Israelite kingdom under David and Solomon, the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the Babylonian exile, and the destruction of the Second Temple and the Roman conquest of Jerusalem. With illustrations, maps, chronologies, and index.

The Origins of the Modern Jew

Jewish Identity and European Culture in Germany, 1749-1824

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Author: Michael A. Meyer

Publisher: Wayne State University Press

ISBN: 9780814314708

Category: History

Page: 249

View: 4359

An excellent overview of the intellectual history of important figures in German Jewry.

Jews and Samaritans

The Origins and History of Their Early Relations

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Author: Gary N. Knoppers

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199716250

Category: Religion

Page: 352

View: 8692

Winner of the R.B.Y. Scott Award from the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies Even in antiquity, writers were intrigued by the origins of the people called Samaritans, living in the region of ancient Samaria (near modern Nablus). The Samaritans practiced a religion almost identical to Judaism and shared a common set of scriptures. Yet the Samaritans and Jews had little to do with each other. In a famous New Testament passage about an encounter between Jesus and a Samaritan woman, the author writes, "Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans." The Samaritans claimed to be descendants of the northern tribes of Joseph. Classical Jewish writers said, however, that they were either of foreign origin or the product of intermarriages between the few remaining northern Israelites and polytheistic foreign settlers. Some modern scholars have accepted one or the other of these ancient theories. Others have avidly debated the time and context in which the two groups split apart. Covering over a thousand years of history, this book makes an important contribution to the fields of Jewish studies, biblical studies, ancient Near Eastern studies, Samaritan studies, and early Christian history by challenging the oppositional paradigm that has traditionally characterized the historical relations between Jews and Samaritans.

Legacy

A Genetic History of the Jewish People

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Author: Harry Ostrer MD

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199702055

Category: Religion

Page: 288

View: 7423

Who are the Jews--a race, a people, a religious group? For over a century, non-Jews and Jews alike have tried to identify who they were--first applying the methods of physical anthropology and more recently of population genetics. In Legacy, Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist and authority on the genetics of the Jewish people, explores not only the history of these efforts, but also the insights that genetics has provided about the histories of contemporary Jewish people. Much of the book is told through the lives of scientific pioneers. We meet Russian immigrant Maurice Fishberg; Australian Joseph Jacobs, the leading Jewish anthropologist in fin-de-siècle Europe; Chaim Sheba, a colorful Israeli geneticist and surgeon general of the Israeli Army; and Arthur Mourant, one of the foremost cataloguers of blood groups in the 20th century. As Ostrer describes their work and the work of others, he shows that to look over the genetics of Jewish groups, and to see the history of the Diaspora woven there, is truly a marvel. Here is what happened as the Jews migrated to new places and saw their numbers wax and wane, as they gained and lost adherents and thrived or were buffeted by famine, disease, wars, and persecution. Many of these groups--from North Africa, the Middle East, India--are little-known, and by telling their stories, Ostrer brings them to the forefront at a time when assimilation is literally changing the face of world Jewry. A fascinating blend of history, science, and biography, Legacy offers readers an entirely fresh perspective on the Jewish people and their history. It is as well a cutting-edge portrait of population genetics, a field which may soon take its place as a pillar of group identity alongside shared spirituality, shared social values, and a shared cultural legacy.

A History of Jewish-Muslim Relations

From the Origins to the Present Day

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Author: Abdelwahab Meddeb,Benjamin Stora

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400849136

Category: History

Page: 1152

View: 319

This is the first encyclopedic guide to the history of relations between Jews and Muslims around the world from the birth of Islam to today. Richly illustrated and beautifully produced, the book features more than 150 authoritative and accessible articles by an international team of leading experts in history, politics, literature, anthropology, and philosophy. Organized thematically and chronologically, this indispensable reference provides critical facts and balanced context for greater historical understanding and a more informed dialogue between Jews and Muslims. Part I covers the medieval period; Part II, the early modern period through the nineteenth century, in the Ottoman Empire, Africa, Asia, and Europe; Part III, the twentieth century, including the exile of Jews from the Muslim world, Jews and Muslims in Israel, and Jewish-Muslim politics; and Part IV, intersections between Jewish and Muslim origins, philosophy, scholarship, art, ritual, and beliefs. The main articles address major topics such as the Jews of Arabia at the origin of Islam; special profiles cover important individuals and places; and excerpts from primary sources provide contemporary views on historical events. Contributors include Mark R. Cohen, Alain Dieckhoff, Michael Laskier, Vera Moreen, Gordon D. Newby, Marina Rustow, Daniel Schroeter, Kirsten Schulze, Mark Tessler, John Tolan, Gilles Veinstein, and many more. Covers the history of relations between Jews and Muslims around the world from the birth of Islam to today Written by an international team of leading scholars Features in-depth articles on social, political, and cultural history Includes profiles of important people (Eliyahu Capsali, Joseph Nasi, Mohammed V, Martin Buber, Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin, Edward Said, Messali Hadj, Mahmoud Darwish) and places (Jerusalem, Alexandria, Baghdad) Presents passages from essential documents of each historical period, such as the Cairo Geniza, Al-Sira, and Judeo-Persian illuminated manuscripts Richly illustrated with more than 250 images, including maps and color photographs Includes extensive cross-references, bibliographies, and an index

The Origins of Jewish Secularization in Eighteenth-Century Europe

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Author: Shmuel Feiner

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812201892

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 3067

Throughout the eighteenth century, an ever-sharper distinction emerged between Jews of the old order and those who were self-consciously of a new world. As aspirations for liberation clashed with adherence to tradition, as national, ethnic, cultural, and other alternatives emerged and a long, circuitous search for identity began, it was no longer evident that the definition of Jewishness would be based on the beliefs and practices surrounding the study of the Torah. In The Origins of Jewish Secularization in Eighteenth-Century Europe Shmuel Feiner reconstructs this evolution by listening to the voices of those who participated in the process and by deciphering its cultural codes and meanings. On the one hand, a great majority of observant Jews still accepted the authority of the Talmud and the leadership of the rabbis; on the other, there was a gradually more conspicuous minority of "Epicureans" and "freethinkers." As the ground shifted, each individual was marked according to his or her place on the path between faith and heresy, between devoutness and permissiveness or indifference. Building on his award-winning Jewish Enlightenment, Feiner unfolds the story of critics of religion, mostly Ashkenazic Jews, who did not take active part in the secular intellectual revival known as the Haskalah. In open or concealed rebellion, Feiner's subjects lived primarily in the cities of western and central Europe—Altona-Hamburg, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Breslau, and Prague. They participated as "fashionable" Jews adopting the habits and clothing of the surrounding Gentile society. Several also adopted the deist worldview of Enlightenment Europe, rejecting faith in revelation, the authority of Scripture, and the obligation to observe the commandments. Peering into the synagogue, observing individuals in the coffeehouse or strolling the boulevards, and peeking into the bedroom, Feiner recovers forgotten critics of religion from both the margins and the center of Jewish discourse. His is a pioneering work on the origins of one of the most significant transformations of modern Jewish history.

The Jews of Khazaria

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Author: Kevin Alan Brook

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN: 1442203021

Category: Religion

Page: 352

View: 2562

The Jews of Khazaria chronicles the history of the Khazars, a people who, in the early Middle Ages, founded a large empire in eastern Europe (located in present-day Ukraine and Russia). The Khazars played a pivotal role in world history. Khazaria was one of the largest-sized political formations of its time, an economic and cultural superpower connected to several important trade routes. It was especially notable for its religious tolerance, and in the 9th century, a large portion of the royal family converted to Judaism. Many of the nobles and commoners did likewise shortly thereafter. After their conversion, the Khazars were ruled by a succession of Jewish kings that began to adopt the hallmarks of Jewish civilization, including the Torah and Talmud, the Hebrew script, and the observance of Jewish holidays. In this thoroughly revised edition of a modern classic, The Jews of Khazaria explores many exciting new discoveries about the Khazars' religious life, economy, military, government, and culture. It builds upon new studies of the Khazars, evaluating and incorporating recent theories, along with new documentary and archaeological findings. The book gives a comprehensive accounting of the cities, towns, and fortresses of Khazaria, and features a timeline summarizing key events in Khazar history.

The Origins of Jewish Mysticism

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Author: Peter Schäfer

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691142157

Category: Religion

Page: 398

View: 4705

The Origins of Jewish Mysticism offers the first in-depth look at the history of Jewish mysticism from the book of Ezekiel to the Merkavah mysticism of late antiquity. The Merkavah movement is widely recognized as the first full-fledged expression of Jewish mysticism, one that had important ramifications for classical rabbinic Judaism and the emergence of the Kabbalah in twelfth-century Europe. Yet until now, the origins and development of still earlier forms of Jewish mysticism have been largely overlooked. In this book, Peter Schäfer sheds new light on Ezekiel's tantalizing vision, the apocalyptic literature of Enoch, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the writings of the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo, the rabbinical writings of the Talmudic period, and the esotericism of the Merkavah mystics. Schäfer questions whether we can accurately speak of Jewish mysticism as a uniform, coherent phenomenon with origins in Judaism's mythical past. Rather than imposing preconceived notions about "mysticism" on a great variety of writings that arose from different cultural, religious, and historical settings, he reveals what these writings seek to tell us about the age-old human desire to get close to and communicate with God.

Genesis

Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict

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Author: John B. Judis

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0374161097

Category: History

Page: 432

View: 9578

A senior editor at The New Republic traces the flawed American policy, established during Truman's presidency, that he theorizes is the root of the half-century-long conflict between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East. 20,000 first printing.

The Origin of Ashkenazi Jewry

The Controversy Unraveled

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Author: Jits van Straten

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 3110236052

Category: Religion

Page: 234

View: 1558

Where do East European Jews about 90 percent of Ashkenazi Jewry descend from? This book conveys new insights into a century-old controversy. Jits van Straten argues that there is no evidence for the most common assumption that German Jews fled en masse to Eastern Europe to constitute East European Jewry. Dealing with another much debated theory, van Straten points to the fact that there is no way to identify the descendants of the Khazars in the Ashkenazi population. Using a multidisciplinary approach, the author draws heavily on demographic findings which are vital to evaluate the conclusions of modern DNA research. Finally, it is suggested that East European Jews are mainly descendants of Ukrainians and Belarussians."

The Origins of the Final Solution

The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942

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Author: Christopher R. Browning

Publisher: U of Nebraska Press

ISBN: 9780803203921

Category: History

Page: 615

View: 3675

This groundbreaking work is the most detailed, carefully researched, and comprehensive analysis of the evolution of Nazi policy from the persecution and "ethnic cleansing" of Jews in 1939 to the Final Solution of the Holocaust in 1942.

The Jews and the Expansion of Europe to the West, 1450 to 1800

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Author: Paolo Bernardini,Norman Fiering

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 9781571814302

Category: History

Page: 567

View: 1863

Jews and Judaism played a significant role in the history of the expansion of Europe to the west as well as in the history of the economic, social, and religious development of the New World. They played an important role in the discovery, colonization, and eventually exploitation of the resources of the New World. Alone among the European peoples who came to the Americas in the colonial period, Jews were dispersed throughout the hemisphere; indeed, they were the only cohesive European ethnic or religious group that lived under both Catholic and Protestant regimes, which makes their study particularly fruitful from a comparative perspective. As distinguished from other religious or ethnic minorities, the Jewish struggle was not only against an overpowering and fierce nature but also against the political regimes that ruled over the various colonies of the Americas and often looked unfavorably upon the establishment and tleration of Jewish communities in their own territory. Jews managed to survive and occasionally to flourish against all odds, and their history in the Americas is one of the more fascinating chapters in the early modern history of European expansion.

A Portable God

The Origin of Judaism and Christianity

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Author: Risa Levitt Kohn,Rebecca Moore

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780742544659

Category: Religion

Page: 202

View: 2114

Many Christians and Jews believe that their faiths developed independently from each other, and that their religions are distinct, even antagonistic towards each other. A Portable God dramatically departs from the idea that the birth of Judaism and Christianity are two separate, unrelated events. Judaism and Christianity's origins are not seen as following a linear, chronological process that places the Israelites in the beginning, followed by the Jews, and finally the Christians. On the contrary, A Portable God shows that both Judaism and Christianity emerge from the same religious tradition that of ancient Israel at the same time. By telling the common story of Jewish and Christian origins, A Portable God shows Jews and Christians as siblings, rather than as parent and child, showing that the similarities between Judaism and Christianity far outweigh their differences, ultimately fostering appreciation for the shared heritage of Judaism and Christianity."

The Origins of Israel, 1882–1948

A Documentary History

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Author: Eran Kaplan,Derek J. Penslar

Publisher: University of Wisconsin Pres

ISBN: 029928493X

Category: History

Page: 380

View: 9678

In 1880 the Jewish community in Palestine encompassed some 20,000 Orthodox Jews; within sixty-five years it was transformed into a secular proto-state with well-developed political, military, and economic institutions, a vigorous Hebrew-language culture, and some 600,000 inhabitants. The Origins of Israel, 1882–1948: A Documentary History chronicles the making of modern Israel before statehood, providing in English the texts of original sources (many translated from Hebrew and other languages) accompanied by extensive introductions and commentaries from the volume editors. This sourcebook assembles a diverse array of 62 documents, many of them unabridged, to convey the ferment, dissent, energy, and anxiety that permeated the Zionist project from its inception to the creation of the modern nation of Israel. Focusing primarily on social, economic, and cultural history rather than Zionist thought and diplomacy, the texts are organized in themed chapters. They present the views of Zionists from many political and religious camps, factory workers, farm women, militants, intellectuals promoting the Hebrew language and arts—as well as views of ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionists. The volume includes important unabridged documents from the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict that are often cited but are rarely read in full. The editors, Eran Kaplan and Derek J. Penslar, provide both primary texts and informative notes and commentary, giving readers the opportunity to encounter voices from history and make judgments for themselves about matters of world-historical significance. Best Special Interest Books, selected by the Public Library Reviewers Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians

East West Street

On the Origins of "genocide" and "crimes Against Humanity"

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Author: Philippe Sands

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0525433724

Category: History

Page: 464

View: 1213

Winner of the 2016 Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction A profound and profoundly important book--a moving personal detective story, an uncovering of secret pasts, and a book that explores the creation and development of world-changing legal concepts that came about as a result of the unprecedented atrocities of Hitler's Third Reich. East West Street looks at the personal and intellectual evolution of the two men who simultaneously originated the ideas of "genocide" and "crimes against humanity," both of whom, not knowing the other, studied at the same university with the same professors, in a city little known today that was a major cultural center of Europe, "the little Paris of Ukraine," a city variously called Lemberg, Lwów, Lvov, or Lviv. It is also a spellbinding family memoir, as the author traces the mysterious story of his grandfather, as he maneuvered through Europe in the face of Nazi atrocities. East West Street is a book that changes the way we look at the world, at our understanding of history and how civilization has tried to cope with mass murder.

A History of Judaism

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Author: Martin Goodman

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400890012

Category: Religion

Page: 656

View: 4532

A sweeping history of Judaism over more than three millennia Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and it has preserved its distinctive identity despite the extraordinarily diverse forms and beliefs it has embodied over the course of more than three millennia. A History of Judaism provides the first truly comprehensive look in one volume at how this great religion came to be, how it has evolved from one age to the next, and how its various strains, sects, and traditions have related to each other. In this magisterial and elegantly written book, Martin Goodman takes readers from Judaism's origins in the polytheistic world of the second and first millennia BCE to the temple cult at the time of Jesus. He tells the stories of the rabbis, mystics, and messiahs of the medieval and early modern periods and guides us through the many varieties of Judaism today. Goodman's compelling narrative spans the globe, from the Middle East, Europe, and America to North Africa, China, and India. He explains the institutions and ideas on which all forms of Judaism are based, and masterfully weaves together the different threads of doctrinal and philosophical debate that run throughout its history. A History of Judaism is a spellbinding chronicle of a vibrant and multifaceted religious tradition that has shaped the spiritual heritage of humankind like no other.