January 28, 13
- Rabbinic attitudes about diaspora
- Exile – negative view
- G-d repents about exile
- Ishmaelites = Muslims
- Why were the Jews exiled to Babylonia more than any other land –
Abraham was from Babylonia – They are in their father’s home –
Exile is a bad thing, but it’s a home to go to.
- Shekinah – aspect of G-d – attribute of G-d – which goes with
Israel in exile. (feminine element of G-d) close to G-d and the
weakest part of G-d.
- Unlike other ancient gods G-d is portable.
- When the Temple is destroyed – charity – collective atonement was
through sacrifice – prayer replaces sacrifice (more standardized
prayer as compared to before).
- G-d had mercy on the Jewish people and “scattered them among
- By living outside of Israel some of the commandments cannot be
- The Jews in Babylonia see themselves as superior to other Jews in
- They feel at home in Babylonia
- R Eliezer – G-d spread the Jews around the nations in order to
attract gentiles/prostalizers to Judaism.
- Taking on Jewish customs – The father observes Sabbath, the son
doesn't eat pork and the grandchild is circumcised.
- Reason for exile – increase the number of Jews through converts.
- After Christianity is the major religion, Jews are not allowed to
- “On the day the Temple was destroyed, the Redeemer was born.”
- ^Positive spin to the destruction of the Temple.
- Josephus – Worked closely with Romans.
- Ketuvim – Who ever lives in the land of Israel has a G-d who ever
does not, has no G-d.
- 111a – R Judah – Who ever leaves Babylon breaks a commandment
- 1) Israel should not go up by a wall in a group – Jews as a group
should not return to the land of Israel – The messiah is to bring you
not you forcing G-d’s hand.
- 2) “Not rebel against the nations of the world” – how will you get
back w/o force? – Do not rebel against Gentiles.
- They pay taxes, support the leader of the land, etc… but they have
to leave the Jews alone. – Also the gentile state don't have judgment over family lives, for crimes (minus capital) there should
be Jewish courts.
- 3) Gentiles should not oppress Israel too much.
- Jews were not citizens until the 18thC.
- 18thC – Enlightenment – Philosophical Rationalism
- Revolution in political realm. – The dominant feature shouldn't be
the Church but the State.
- Jews lived in a Ghetto (Jewish Quarter)
- If you wanted to be part of the non-Ghetto you had to convert to
- Neutral public square – come to reason together.
- Emancipation of the first Jews – Jews are to be like everyone else.
- Transformation of Jews from exiles into citizens.
- Emancipation leading to assimilation/acculturation.
- Transformation from traditional society to (what Jacob Katz calls) –
Semi-Neutral Society – everything is open to negotiation.
- Rise of Nation States.
- Dominance of the State – Politicization of everything.
- With this comes the thinning of a common culture
- Institutions, persons, and groups, define themselves through the
- Identity is formed through the State – the State is the only grantor
- One of the things about being a citizen was dropping other
- Kehillah – community – it went away.
- The first rights Jews got as rights – economics/commerce.
- Jews were not allowed to own land nor hire Christians.
- Voltaire – Emmancipation was a good thing – differences diminish.
- Moses Mendelsohn – “Great Supporter of Emancipation” – Jews
don't need to change, the state does.
- Transformation of exiles into citizens.
- German civil servant – Wilhelm Dohm
- All non-