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judaic 1.11 - Judaic Studies Why did Jews come to US from...

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Judaic Studies January 10, 2011 Why did Jews come to US from Russian Empire? - Religious persectuion - Economical reasons did not see a future for them or their children. - Poland, Germany, N France- Ashkenazi o Speak Yiddish o Ashkenazi: Rice, Bible commentaries about Russia o Small community less than 100 o Very Productive o Jews living with Christians- had to convert to Christianity as a result o Moved to Poland o Only few cities, not a strong state authority (Poland.) King not strong. Less developed than Germany o Jews were useful o Town Market where everyone could bring goods- SHTETL o Synagoge- educational Mikva o Encouraged Jews to come to Poland and build their town where there is no town (From Germany to Israel.) Noblemen welcomed Jews took one family in each. Jews were going to leave but noblemen convinced them to stay. Town would then prosper. Jews were smart and could do work. o Traditional Jewish Concept of History: 1) Exodus/ Revelation of Torah/ Land of Israel- can only be done in temple. 2) Exile- no longer in the land of Israel, Judaism reinvented 3) Messianic Redemption- want Jews to live in Israel We all live in the 2 nd . o Midrash: The word is from the Hebrew root darash- to enquire, to investigate The method by which the ancient Rabbis investigated Scripture in order to make it yield teachings and laws not apparent in a surface reading Some of the midrashim contain pious maxims, folklore, anecdotes about the rabbis, theological observations. o Folklore Tales, legends, proverbs, magic practices and supersitions, customs, beliefs, songs, which stem from the people rather than learned circles.
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The folklore of the Jews is indebted to folk-beliefs current in various civilizations in which Jews lived. The line between religious belief and folklore is very finely drawn in Judaism. o Questions: o How large was Jewish population in Poland? o How friendly/hostile were the relationships between Jews and Christians in middle ages? o Why was Poland different in its attitude to Jews from other countries? o What is so special about the Jewish diaspora compared to other diasporas? o What did Jews bring to Poland? o What is the significance of Jewish legends? How reliable are they as a historical source. January 12, 2011 - Jan Matejko: Admission of Jews in Poland in 1096 Character of Grand Duke Boleslaw, 1264 - The testimony of the Christian alone may not be admitted in a matter which concerns the money or property of a jew. If a Christian injures a Jew in any which way, the accused shall pay a fine to the royal treasury. - If a Christian desecrates or deflies a Jewish cemetery in any which way, it is our wish that he be punished severely as demanded by law. - We also affirm that Jews are free to buy and sell all manner of things just as Christians, and if anyone hampers them, he shall pay a fine.” Timeframe of Polish Jewish history - First Jews appear in Poland around 11 th Century - 1386 Personal Union between Poland and Lithuania -
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