By Salo Wittmayer Baron
Original yr of publication: 1942
Jewish communal heritage during the millennia of diaspora lifestyles has lengthy been the topic of substantial scholarly realization. the eu neighborhood of the pre-Emancipation period, specifically, has for many years attracted sleek investigators by way of its quite a few amazing positive aspects. Its striking mixture of spiritual and secular authority, its nearly “extraterritorial” prestige and “sovereign” political powers and its overwhelming keep watch over over its individuals have flattered the political objectives of nationally minded smooth Jews, yet antagonized many reformers and anti-segregationists. Philo-Sémites and anti-Semites one of the non-Jews, too, have usually held convinced evaluations concerning the “ghetto” neighborhood. Like their Jewish confreres, although, they, too, have often substituted one or one other bias for trustworthy info and sound reasoning. it really is was hoping that this primary test at a complete old and sociological research of the total communal evolution to the Emancipation period may also help to advertise readability, if now not unanimity of appraisal.
Apart from the standard embarrassment in defining the hugely ambiguous time period “community” — it's used the following within the winning, organizational feel that's even narrower than that of the German Gemeinde — scholars of communal points of Jewish heritage are beset through opposing problems: an severe dearth of fabric for convinced parts and classes and a plethora of extant details on different areas and epochs. glossy literature at the topic, too, is erratically disbursed and masses repetition in a single box is annoyed by means of approximately overall silence in others. the current writer has made an attempt to keep up the relative proportions of some of the levels of his ramified subject despite this quantitative disparity. within the use of the immense and critical literature of rabbinic responsa, for instance, he has been guided largely via the significance of the international locations or centuries in their provenance. consultant samples from assorted components and classes have been thought of extra promising than mere focus on works of some impressive masters, despite the fact that nice a power the latter could have wielded at the next evolution of Jewish law.
The concentration of this complete paintings is founded at the eu group of the center a long time and early smooth occasions, either end result of the nice richness and diversity of its old accomplishments and, genetically, due to its intimate linkage to Jewish neighborhood existence in the course of the global this present day. even as its deep moorings within the historical and contemporaneous japanese groups have come to the fore ever extra insistently. actually, whereas attempting to become aware of the hidden springs of this phenomenally tenacious evolution, the author chanced on himself delving deeper and deeper not just into the vague geographical regions of the 1st Exile and the Persian and Hellenistic dispersion, but additionally into the early manifestations of historic Palestinian municipal lifestyles. Many quite unforeseen relationships have laid naked probably the most autochthonous roots of the diaspora group securely ensconced within the ever fertile soil of old Israel. it's been discovered invaluable, as a result, to commit the 1st chapters to a basic define of either the fashionable foreground and the traditional heritage of the neighborhood in dispersion in its notable historical occupation from the Babylonian Exile to the yankee and French Revolutions.
About the Author
Salo W. Baron, who was once a rabbi, educator, and editor, was once esteemed as a Jewish historian. A prolific author, Baron used to be top recognized for his eighteen-volume paintings A Social and spiritual historical past of the Jews. He was once ordained a rabbi in 1920 and acquired doctoral levels in philosophy, political technology, and legislation from the college of Vienna. He later served as a professor of Jewish heritage and literature at Columbia collage for thirty-three years. As a pupil, Baron is credited with broadening and modernizing the ancient view of the Jewish adventure. furthermore, he supplied testimony for the prosecution on the trial of Nazi authentic Adolf Eichmann. Baron additionally edited Jewish Social stories and the sequence "A Documentary historical past of yankee Jews."
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Additional resources for The Jewish Community: Its History and Structure to the American Revolution, Vol. 3
20 THE JEWISH COMMUNITY I, 109 attested recognition of the public status of the Jewish community. Cf. Juster, op. , I, 432 ff. and the literature cited there. 168–70; A. Momigliano, “Severo Alessandro Archisynagogus” Athenaeum, XXII (1934), 151–53. 235. For the extremely complex problem of the Jewish status civitatis under the Roman Empire, cf. the literature listed in Baron’s History, III, 46 ff. n. 3–4, 6, and especially Juster’s standard work. Unfortunately our information concerning the operation of the Roman laws with respect to Jewish communal activities is very meager.
Its existence before that time has been made plausible I, 122 NOTES: V. TALMUDIC CONSOLIDATION 21 by Juster, however, on the basis of a decree of 415 and a passage in a fourth-century Christian work. Don Isaac Abravanel’s reference (in his Ma‘ayene ha-Yeshu‘ah [Commentary on Daniel], XI, 5, also quoted by Krauss, op. , p. 419 n. 4) to such a prohibitive decree of Constantine, supposedly abrogated by Constantius and Julian, may be mentioned here for what it is worth. 40 Theodosian Code, XVI, 8, 9; St.
However, a similar decree issued in favor of a Bagdad gaon and dated in 1209 has been published in Arabic, with Ignaz Goldziher’s German translation, by Poznanski in his Babylonische Geonim im nachgaonäischen Zeitalter, pp. 37 ff. For an English translation cf. Fischel, op. , pp. 128 f. The somewhat analogous decree of appointment of the Egyptian rais al-yahud (nagid) by the Mameluke rulers after 1301 is preserved, in part, in the writings of Al-Umari and Al-Kalkashandi and given in Hebrew translation by A.