♥ Book Title : A Best-Selling Hebrew Book of the Modern Era
☯ Full Synopsis : "In 1797, in what is now the Czech Republic, Pin as Hurwitz published one of the best-selling Hebrew books of the modern era. Nominally an extended commentary on a sixteenth-century kabbalist text, The Book of the Covenant was in fact a compendium of scientific knowledge and a manual of moral behavior. Its popularity stemmed from its ability to present the scientific advances and moral cosmopolitanism of its day in the context of Jewish legal and mystical tradition. Describing the latest developments in science and philosophy in the sacred language of Hebrew, Hurwitz argued that an intellectual understanding of the cosmos was not at odds with but actually key to achieving spiritual attainment. In A Best-Selling Hebrew Book of the Modern Era, David B. Ruderman offers a literary and intellectual history of Hurwitz�s book and its legacy. Hurwitz not only wrote the book, but was instrumental in selling it as well and his success ultimately led to the publication of more than forty editions in Hebrew, Ladino, and Yiddish. Ruderman provides a multidimensional picture of the book and the intellectual tradition it helped to inaugurate. Complicating accounts that consider modern Jewish thought to be the product of a radical break from a religious, mystical past, Ruderman shows how, instead, a complex continuity shaped Jewish society�s confrontation with modernity."Article| David B. Ruderman| Statement ..."
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♥ Book Title : The Hebrew Book in Early Modern Italy
☯ Full Synopsis : "The rise of printing had major effects on culture and society in the early modern period, and the presence of this new technology—and the relatively rapid embrace of it among early modern Jews—certainly had an effect on many aspects of Jewish culture. One major change that print seems to have brought to the Jewish communities of Christian Europe, particularly in Italy, was greater interaction between Jews and Christians in the production and dissemination of books. Starting in the early sixteenth century, the locus of production for Jewish books in many places in Italy was in Christian-owned print shops, with Jews and Christians collaborating on the editorial and technical processes of book production. As this Jewish-Christian collaboration often took place under conditions of control by Christians (for example, the involvement of Christian typesetters and printers, expurgation and censorship of Hebrew texts, and state control of Hebrew printing), its study opens up an important set of questions about the role that Christians played in shaping Jewish culture. Presenting new research by an international group of scholars, this book represents a step toward a fuller understanding of Jewish book history. Individual essays focus on a range of issues related to the production and dissemination of Hebrew books as well as their audiences. Topics include the activities of scribes and printers, the creation of new types of literature and the transformation of canonical works in the era of print, the external and internal censorship of Hebrew books, and the reading interests of Jews. An introduction summarizes the state of scholarship in the field and offers an overview of the transition from manuscript to print in this period."Article| Joseph R. Hacker| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Connecting Histories
☯ Full Synopsis : "Whether forced by governmental decree, driven by persecution and economic distress, or seeking financial opportunity, the Jews of early modern Europe were extraordinarily mobile, experiencing both displacement and integration into new cultural, legal, and political settings. This, in turn, led to unprecedented modes of social mixing for Jews, especially for those living in urban areas, who frequently encountered Jews from different ethnic backgrounds and cultural orientations. Additionally, Jews formed social, economic, and intellectual bonds with mixed populations of Christians. While not necessarily effacing Jewish loyalties to local places, authorities, and customs, these connections and exposures to novel cultural settings created new allegiances as well as new challenges, resulting in constructive relations in some cases and provoking strife and controversy in others. The essays collected by Francesca Bregoli and David B. Ruderman in Connecting Histories show that while it is not possible to speak of a single, cohesive transregional Jewish culture in the early modern period, Jews experienced pockets of supra-local connections between West and East—for example, between Italy and Poland, Poland and the Holy Land, and western and eastern Ashkenaz—as well as increased exchanges between high and low culture. Special attention is devoted to the impact of the printing press and the strategies of representation and self-representation through which Jews forged connections in a world where their status as a tolerated minority was ambiguous and in constant need of renegotiation. Exploring the ways in which early modern Jews related to Jews from different backgrounds and to the non-Jews around them, Connecting Histories emphasizes not only the challenging nature and impact of these encounters but also the ambivalence experienced by Jews as they met their others. Contributors: Michela Andreatta, Francesca Bregoli, Joseph Davis, Jesús de Prado Plumed, Andrea Gondos, Rachel L. Greenblatt, Gershon David Hundert, Fabrizio Lelli, Moshe Idel, Debra Kaplan, Lucia Raspe, David B. Ruderman, Pavel Sládek, Claude B. Stuczynski, Rebekka Voß."Article| Francesca Bregoli| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Converts of Conviction
☯ Full Synopsis : "The study of Jewish converts to Christianity in the modern era has long been marginalized in Jewish historiography. Labeled disparagingly in the Jewish tradition as meshumadim (apostates), many earlier Jewish scholars treated these individuals in a negative light or generally ignored them as not properly belonging any longer to the community and its historical legacy. This situation has radically changed in recent years with an outpouring of new studies on converts in variegated times and places, culminating perhaps in the most recent synthesis of modern Jewish converts by Todd Endelman in 2015. While Endelman argues that most modern converts left the Jewish fold for economic, social, or political reasons, he does acknowledge the presence of those who chose to convert for ideological and spiritual motives. The purpose of this volume is to consider more fully the latter group, perhaps the most interesting from the perspective of Jewish intellectual history: those who moved from Judaism to Christianity out of a conviction that they were choosing a superior religion, and out of doubt or lack of confidence in the religious principles and practices of their former one. Their spiritual journeys often led them to suspect their newly adopted beliefs as well, and some even returned to Judaism or adopted a hybrid faith consisting of elements of both religions. Their intellectual itineraries between Judaism and Christianity offer a unique perspective on the formation of modern Jewish identities, Jewish-Christian relations, and the history of Jewish skeptical postures. The approach of the authors of this book is to avoid broad generalizations about the modern convert in favor of detailed case studies of specific converts in four distinct localities: Germany, Russia, Poland, and England, all living in the nineteenth- century. In so doing, it underscores the individuality of each convert’s life experience and self-reflection and the need to examine more intensely this relatively neglected dimension of Jewish and Christian cultural and intellectual history."Article| David B. Ruderman| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : For the Sake of Learning (2 vols)
☯ Full Synopsis : "In this tribute to Anthony Grafton, fifty-eight contributors present new research across the many areas in which Grafton has been active in the history of scholarship and learned culture."Article| Ann Blair| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Jews in the Early Modern World
☯ Full Synopsis : "Jews in the Early Modern World presents a comparative and global history of the Jews for the early modern period, 1400-1700. It traces the remarkable demographic changes experienced by Jews around the globe and assesses the impact of those changes on Jewish communal and social structures, religious and cultural practices, and relations with non-Jews."Article| Dean Phillip Bell| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : A People Apart
☯ Full Synopsis : "A controversial look at 150 years of Jewish history in Europe, leading up to the Holocaust."Article| David Vital| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : A History of Modern Israel
☯ Full Synopsis : "Colin Shindler's remarkable history begins in 1948, as waves of immigrants arrived in Israel from war-torn Europe to establish new cities, new institutions, and a new culture founded on the Hebrew language. Optimistic beginnings were soon replaced with the sobering reality of wars with Arab neighbours, internal ideological differences, and ongoing confrontation with the Palestinians. In this updated edition, Shindler covers the significant developments of the last decade, including the rise of the Israeli far right, Hamas's takeover and the political rivalry between Gaza and the West Bank, Israel's uneasy dealings with the new administration in the United States, political Islam and the potential impact of the Arab Spring on the region as a whole. This sympathetic yet candid portrayal asks how a nation that emerged out of the ashes of the Holocaust and was the admiration of the world is now perceived by many Western governments in a less than benevolent light."Article| Colin Shindler| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Palaces of Time
☯ Full Synopsis : "Utilizes adaptations of the Jewish calendar as a way to better understand modern Jewish life adapting to the Christian world."Article| Elisheva Carlbach| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Early Modern Jewry
☯ Full Synopsis : "Early Modern Jewry boldly offers a new history of the early modern Jewish experience. From Krakow and Venice to Amsterdam and Smyrna, David Ruderman examines the historical and cultural factors unique to Jewish communities throughout Europe, and how these distinctions played out amidst the rest of society. Looking at how Jewish settlements in the early modern period were linked to one another in fascinating ways, he shows how Jews were communicating with each other and were more aware of their economic, social, and religious connections than ever before. Ruderman explores five crucial and powerful characteristics uniting Jewish communities: a mobility leading to enhanced contacts between Jews of differing backgrounds, traditions, and languages, as well as between Jews and non-Jews; a heightened sense of communal cohesion throughout all Jewish settlements that revealed the rising power of lay oligarchies; a knowledge explosion brought about by the printing press, the growing interest in Jewish books by Christian readers, an expanded curriculum of Jewish learning, and the entrance of Jewish elites into universities; a crisis of rabbinic authority expressed through active messianism, mystical prophecy, radical enthusiasm, and heresy; and the blurring of religious identities, impacting such groups as conversos, Sabbateans, individual converts to Christianity, and Christian Hebraists. In describing an early modern Jewish culture, Early Modern Jewry reconstructs a distinct epoch in history and provides essential background for understanding the modern Jewish experience."Article| David B. Ruderman| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : A History of the Palestinian People
☯ Full Synopsis : "This book is the fruit of many years of research, during which thousands of sources have been meticulously reviewed in libraries and archives worldwide. It is no doubt the most comprehensive and extensive review of some 3,000 years of Palestinian history, with emphasis on the Palestinian people's unique contribution to the world and to humanity."Article| Assaf Voll| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : History of the Jewish People
☯ Full Synopsis : "For the first time, Jewish history is presented according to authentic Jewish sources; well researched and clearly illustrated with photos, charts, and maps. Vol. I: The Second Temple Era: The era of the Second Commonwealth from the Destruction of the First Temple to the Destruction of the Second."Article| Hersh Goldwurm| Statement ..."