This book is a comprehensive account of how the Jews became a diaspora people. The term 'diaspora' was first applied exclusively to the early history of the Jews as they began settling in scattered colonies outside of Israel-Judea during the time of the Babylonian exile; it has come to express the characteristic uniqueness of the Jewish historical experience. Zeitlin retraces the history of the Jewish diaspora from the ancient world to the present, beginning with expulsion from their ancestral homeland and concluding with the Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In mapping this process, Zeitlin argues that the Jews' religious self-understanding was crucial in enabling them to cope with the serious and recurring challenges they have had to face throughout their history. He analyses the varied reactions the Jews encountered from their so-called 'host peoples', paying special attention to the attitudes of famous thinkers such as Luther, Hegel, Nietzsche, Wagner, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, the Left Hegelians, Marx and others, who didn't shy away from making explicit their opinions of the Jews.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Jewish studies, diaspora studies, history and religion, as well as to general readers keen to learn more about the history of the Jewish experience.
Irving M. Zeitlin is Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto and a leading authority on the sociology of religion. His many books include The Historical Muhammad, Jesus and the Judaism of His Time and Ancient Judaism.
Preface Chapter One "Diaspora" on the Genealogy of a Concept The Relation of Theory to History and the Role of the Ideal Type Global Diasporas by Robin Cohen Ethnic Immigration in the Early Eras of American History Diasporas by Stephane Dufux Static Thinking About Dispersion Powers of Diaspora by Jonathan Boyarin and Daniel Boyarin The Socratic Inversion of Values The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness by Paul Gilroy Children of Israel or Children of the Pharaohs Black Culture and Ineffable Terror Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century by James Clifford Chapter Two Varieties of Jewish Religious Experience Resting, however, on Unifying Jewish Religious Principles Moshe Rosman's Rethinking European Jewish History Cultures of the Jews Syncretism in Jewish History Polytheism and Monotheism The Nature of Polytheism Chapter Three Max Weber's Ancient Judaism The Hebrew Prophets: The Setting The Prophetic Ethic Chapter Four The Babylonian Empire The Revolt and the Destruction of the First Temple The Emigration to Egypt Chapter Five The Babylonian Exile and the Persian Supremacy (586-332BCE) The Diaspora in Babylon and Persia Chapter Six Alexander the Great and the new Hegemony of the West Chapter Seven The World Diaspora The Beginnings of the European Diaspora: Greece and Rome Chapter Eight The Diaspora in the 1st Century CE Judaism's Proselytism Chapter Nine The Jews in the Roman Near East Chapter Ten The Jews Move to Poland The Chmelnitzky Uprising of 1648-1649 Chapter Eleven Sabbatai Zevi Chapter Twelve Gershom Scholem's Error Dubnow on the Sabbatian Movement Chapter Thirteen The Rise of Hasidism and the Baal-Shem-Tob Enter the Man, Israel, Who Became the Baal-Shem-Tob (abbreviated the Besht) The Fundamental Principles of the Besht's Teachings The Growth of Tzaddikism Hasidism, Rabbinism and the Forerunners of the Enlightenment Chapter Fourteen The Jews of Spain The Inquisition The Jews, the Spanish and the "Conversos Problem" The Aftermath of the Pogroms Jewish Mysticism: The Kabbalah in Spanish-Jewish Life Chapter Fifteen The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain The Conquest of Granada Chapter Sixteen The Enlightenment and the Jews The English Deists Varieties of Enlightenment Views on Religion Voltaire Rousseau Rousseau on Judaism and the Jews Chapter Seventeen The Germanies The Emerging German National Mind Luther Luther's Attitude toward the Jews Hegel Hegel on Jews and Judaism Chapter Eighteen The Left Hegelians and the "So-Called" Jewish Question Bruno Bauer on the "Jewish Question" Marx Marx's Use of the Terms "Jew" and "Judaism" Weber vs. Sombart on the Spirit of Capitalism Chapter Nineteen From Religion to Race Afro-American D Jewish Parallels Arthur de Gobineau Chapter Twenty From Gobineau and H. Stewart Chamberlain to Wagner Nietzsche, the Jews, and Judaism Nietzsche's Legacy Chapter Twenty One The Rise of Nazism The Versailles Treaty The Origins of the Nazi Party After the Putsch Chapter Twenty Two The Early Nazi Regime and the Jews as Perceived by Non-Jewish Contemporaries Chapter Twenty Three The First World War, the Collapse of the Old Regimes and the Rise of Totalitarianism More on Nazi Ideology, Internal Factions and Foreign-Policy Aims The Turning Point: The Attack on Poland Chapter Twenty Four Max Weber on Bureaucracy and its Relevance for an Analysis of the Shoah (Holocaust) Bureaucracy German Ideology and Bureaucracy Weber's Serious Error Chapter Twenty Five Charisma, Bureaucracy and the "Final Solution" Raul Hilberg's, The Destruction of the European Jews The Administration of the Destructive Process The Reich-Protektorat Area The Creation of a Centralized authority in Ghettoized Jewish Communities The Polish Jews under the Nazis The Jewish Councils (Judenrate) Nazi Food Controls Mobile Killing Operations The Role of the Other Ethnic Groups Definition of "Jew" Again, and Himmler Ian Kershaw's Recent Re-Examination of the Issues Chapter Twenty Six Leon Poliakov's Complementary Analysis of the Shoah Hitler's Euthanasia Program Auschwitz The "Death's Head" Formations (SS Totenkopf) Back to the Question of a Distinctive German National Character Significant Political Differences Between Eastern and Western Europe The Role of the Christian Churches Postscript Chapter Twenty Seven The Battle of the Warsaw Ghetto A Reflection on Jewish Resistance Chapter Twenty Eight Zionism, Israel and the Palestinians Theodore Herzl The Historical Jewish Presence in the Arab World The Peace Conference of 1919 "The Unseen Question" Arab Rebellion Works Cited