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Discusses the nature of Jewish historical memory which traditionally concentrated on the religious meaning of history rather than on the events themselves. Medieval Jewish historians focused either on the ancient past or on recent persecutions, tending to identify them with biblical patterns of oppression. For example, the Hebrew chronicles of the Crusader massacres show awareness of a deterioration in Christian-Jewish relations, using the "binding of Isaac" as a pattern for Jewish martyrdom. Although the chronicles were forgotten, the memory of the persecutions was preserved in halakhic and liturgical works. The expulsion from Spain in 1492 stimulated a minor resurgence in Jewish historiography. However, the kabbalistic myth proved more influential than history. Modern Jewish historiography is based on the secular concept of historical science and, especially since the Holocaust, cannot take the place of group memory. (From the Bibliography of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism - The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Title Zakhor : Jewish history and Jewish memory / Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi.
Publisher Seattle : University of Washington Press
Creation Date c1982
Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Samuel and Althea Stroum lectures in Jewish studies
Extent xvii, 144 pages
23 cm.
Language English
National Library system number 990008675460205171

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