Read e-book online Ajs Review, 1993, Part 1 PDF

By Robert Chazan

ISBN-10: 9993707635

ISBN-13: 9789993707639

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See Feldman, "Omnipresence of the God-Fearers," p. 67, n. 32. 74. 111). 26 LOUIS H. E. 131). In other words, the Romans were pragmatists who, like the Persians and Alexander and Alexander's successors before them, realized that they were too few in number to maintain control over such a vast empire and that the Jews were simply too numerous and too powerful economically to be treated with disdain. Hence, they adopted a policy of tolerance or benign neglect, stopping the Jews only when their nationalism or their proselytism became an immediate threat to the empire.

I deal with these issues at considerable length in chapter 7 of my forthcoming The Decline of Early Ashkenazic Jewry. 7. Salo Wittmayer Baron, Modern Nationalism and Religion (New York, 1947) . 8. An emphasis on the role of the Church in medieval Jewish fortunes continued to be prominent in the work of many Israeli historians, including Yitzhak Baer and Haim Hillel BenSasson. 34 ROBERT CHAZAN us attend briefly to a remarkable passage in the seventh volume of Graetz's great history: The orphanedstateof Judaismat the beginningof the thirteenthcentury[due to the death of Maimonides]was compoundedby the enmity of a mighty force,the likes of whichhad not beenseen,withrespectto powerandtenacity, since the time of Hadrian.

In other words, the Romans were pragmatists who, like the Persians and Alexander and Alexander's successors before them, realized that they were too few in number to maintain control over such a vast empire and that the Jews were simply too numerous and too powerful economically to be treated with disdain. Hence, they adopted a policy of tolerance or benign neglect, stopping the Jews only when their nationalism or their proselytism became an immediate threat to the empire. 76Similarly, although the Bar Kochba rebellion was the most serious military challenge to the Romans during the reign of Hadrian, it is significant that Antoninus Pius alleviated Hadrian's decrees forbidding the practice of Judaism and permitted the Jews to circumcise their own chil- 75.

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Ajs Review, 1993, Part 1 by Robert Chazan


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