The Jews Among the Nations

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Transaction Publishers, 1967 - Social Science - 149 pages

This is an augmented edition of a superb volume by one of the foremost analysts of European institutions and ideas. Here the late Erich Kahler turns his attention to the special character of the Jewish people, formed uniquely through the interaction of internal and external circumstances in which past and present merge.

The chapters in this book deal with persistent problems of Jewish identity. Kahler claims these can be fully understood only by awareness of the close interconnection between the singular ethnic nature and the unique social structure of the Jewish people. He discusses the Jews in Europe, specifically the historical implications of a strict tribal ritual that yet permitted the widest spiritual scope.

The second half of the book concerns anti-Semitism, in relation to Jews and Germans. How did the German people, seemingly so congenial to the Jews, develop a murderous revulsion against them, ending a long and fruitful symbiosis? Kahler sees this as a parallel to the parricidal rejection of the Jews by the Christian church. His argument is deepened in an added chapter, new to this volume, on the major forms and features of anti-Judaism, 'in which the earlier theme of the universal and the specific are seen as central not only to the inner history of Judaism but also to the specific interaction of Jews and Gentiles throughout social history.

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Contents

WHAT ARE THE JEWS?
1
THE JEWS IN EUROPE
31
THE JEWS AND THE GERMANS
95
THE JEWS AND THE ARABS ON PALESTINE
121
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Page 20 - He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Page xlviii - And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest...
Page xlix - Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Page 19 - The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people ; for ye were the fewest of all people : but because the Lord loved you...
Page xvii - It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, That thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
Page 17 - And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Page 14 - Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice: and the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people...
Page xviii - I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
Page 16 - And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.

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