Ajs Review, 1993, Part 1 by Robert Chazan

By Robert Chazan

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However, here too I believe that his early focus on the modern period, where the evidence for peaceful demographic movement abounds, significantly influenced his understanding of the Middle Ages, where such evidence is extremely sparse. It is this sense of slow, peaceful demographic change that was critical to Baron's reevaluation of the impact of the crusades on medieval Jewish life in Europe. " It was, in 10. Salo Wittmayer Baron, "The Israelite Population under the Kings" (Hebrew), Abhandlungen zur Erinnerungan Hirsch Perez Chayes (Vienna, 1933), pp.

See the discussion by Feldman, "Proselytes and 'Sympathizers,"' pp. 282-297. 69. 915. THE CONTRIBUTION OF PROF. SALO W. BARON 25 gion was always regarded as an integral part of the state and that religious worship, in the form prescribed by the state, was a civic duty. Again, we are indebted to Professor Baron for keen insights in answering this question. , the number of kingdoms in the Near East ruled by Jews-petty kingdoms for the most part, to be sure-was considerable. ,four years before Cicero defended Flaccus when the latter was accused of sending Jewish money to Rome for deposit in the public treasury, the Roman Senate had passed a resolution forbidding the export of gold and silver from Italy because of the shortage.

With the turn to history in the ninteenth century, Jewish thought in Central Europe had quickly shifted from midrashic to historical canons of conceptualization. And through the felicitious Hebrew translation of Graetz's nationalistic history of the Jews by Saul Pinchas Rabinowitz in the last decade of the century, historical consciousness had also taken root in the culture of East European Jewry. ' Seven years before this comment, on New Year's Day 1892, Simon Dubnov also surrendered to Graetz's spell and recorded in his diary what would be his life's vocation: "The goal of my life stands now clearly before me: dissemination of historical knowledge about Judaism and especially the study of the history of Russian Jews.

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