By D. Aberbach
This e-book analyzes significant variations in Jewish existence and idea: from idolatry to particular monotheism within the biblical age, from state-based identification to cultural nationalism within the Roman empire; and, within the eu Diaspora, from theology to secularism and revived political nationalism within the sleek interval. primary questions are requested approximately Jewish survival in various issues together with prophecy, Jewish legislation, Midrash, the Roman-Jewish wars, Stoicism, secular poetry in Muslim Spain, Marx and Freud, and Hebrew literature in the course of the a long time.
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Additional info for Major Turning Points in Jewish Intellectual History
The Tannaim 31 32 Major Turning Points in Jewish Intellectual History (rabbis of the Mishnah) were crucial in the survival and growth of living Hebrew: “In the tannaitic age, Hebrew was evidently not widespread among the Jews, and only the Tannaim used it in daily life” (EvenShoshan 1983, III, p. 1566). At the same time, they entered to a greater extent than previously a world of their own making, of inner reality. 1 This form of cultural nationalism spurred by defeat was practically unique in the ancient world.
But notice that while I speak and approach the fire what remained of the taste is exhaled, the smell evaporates, the color alters, the figure is destroyed, the size increases, it becomes liquid, it heats, scarcely can one handle it, and when one strikes it, no sound is emitted. Does Trauma and Abstract Monotheism 25 the same wax remain after this change? We must confess that it remains; none would judge otherwise. What then did I know so distinctly in this piece of wax? It could certainly be nothing of all that the senses brought to my notice, since all these things which fall under taste, smell, sight, touch, and hearing, are found to be changed, and yet the same wax remains.
The nature of this defeat in the biblical age was little different from that inflicted on many other small nations who got in the way of the great powers of the time. What was unusual, perhaps, was the perspective in exile of a defeated kingdom, Judah, whose people had witnessed the fatal defeats of the two greatest empires the world had yet seen – Assyria and Babylonia. The Judeans in sixth-century Babylonia are the first known example in history of an exiled diaspora community that in the long run did not totally assimilate but kept its identity and the hope of return to its homeland.