Here is the table of contents for the latest issue of the Jewish Quarterly Review.
Published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.
On the Retirement of Bonnie L. Blankenship
French Jewish Studies
French Jewish Studies: Editor's Introduction
Natalie B. Dohrmann
A Murky Business: Doing Jewish History in France, 1961
Riots, Revolution, and Cultural Productivity
Jay R. Berkovitz
The Good Republican, or a French Modern Jewish History on One Foot
Sylvie Anne Goldberg
Maimonides, Salomon Munk, and French Modernity
Dusting Off the Before-Lives of Resistance
Trails of Posters: French Colonial Moroccan Tourism Redux
Jews in Tunisia Confront the Alliance Israélite Universelle
Richard I. Cohen
Zouj: On the Importance of the Vernacular and the Idea of Transmission
Samuel Sami Everett
Birthing Cross-Confessional Relationships in French Archives
Jordan R. Katz
The Jews in Chapter One
Keeping Kosher: The Ability of Jewish Soldiers to Keep the Dietary Laws as a Case Study for the Integration of Minorities in the Roman Army
The Jewish religion, especially its dietary laws, has been seen as an obstacle to Jewish military service in the armies of the Roman Empire and, thus, is used as a main argument by scholars who deny that Jews served in the Roman army in any considerable numbers. The current essay is the first to examine this claim. Its first part shows that Jews would not have been unique among ethnic army recruits in having dietary restrictions, while the second part presents the diet of the Roman soldier. The third part uses the Jewish soldier as a case study of the capability of any serviceman, no matter his faith or ethnicity, to serve in the army while keeping his customs and traditions with regard to food. Lastly, the article raises the possibility that the Roman logistical system was purposefully structured to ease the service of soldiers from different cultures and ethnicities.
Tradition, Migration, and the Impact of Print: Local Rites of Seliḥot Recitation in Early Modern Ashkenaz
This article examines the history of the various rites of seli@hot (penitential prayers) recitation for what it can tell us about the changes the legacy of medieval Ashkenaz underwent in the early modern period. An eminently local matter by definition, these penitential liturgies were inevitably affected by the large-scale emigration of Jews from the German lands that marked the end of the Middle Ages. They were also subject to the trend toward standardization that came with the new technology of printing. While the local seli@hot rites were among the first Hebrew books to be printed in northern Italy, in Prague, and in Krakow, a similarly direct transition from practice into print was not an option in post-expulsion Germany. Hence, when Jewish communities began to revive in western Ashkenaz from the sixteenth century onward, local choices were predicated upon the availability of printed editions that had originated elsewhere, and the liturgical landscape changed accordingly. Nevertheless, even as the first seli@hot editions printed in Germany itself followed the Italo-Ashkenazic rite for the bulk of their corpus, they also preserve unacknowledged evidence of an indigenous rite well rooted in medieval tradition. Pockets of local tradition, it turns out, sometimes remained in place when rural Jews continued to uphold the rite of a historical region even after the urban community that had served as its center had ceased to exist. Liturgical sources are thus shown to shed unexpected light on Jewish life in sixteenth-century Germany, a dark age in German-Jewish history in more than one respect.
The Ouroboros: Leo Strauss's Critique of Zionism
In several lectures and essays in the 1950s and 1960s, Leo Strauss offered a succinct critique of Zionism: that despite its ostensible rejection of religious authority, political Zionism would ultimately slide into religious Zionism, which would in turn negate the aims of Zionism itself. In this essay, I argue that this analysis is not only surprisingly prescient but is much more central to Strauss's mature thought than generally recognized. In this, I agree with scholars who have suggested that Strauss's engagement with Zionism as a young man in Germany in the 1920s was formative for the development of his mature accounts of both politics and Judaism. Yet in contrast to existing scholarship, I argue that Strauss grew increasingly critical of Zionism as he concluded that the Zionist rejection of religious authority amounted ultimately to a rejection of morality. In this, Zionism reflected in the most blatant form the failure endemic to modern politics. I suggest that this point provides the hinge between Strauss's early Zionism, his mature critique of modern politics, and his account of Judaism's political power. The force of the critique also, counterintuitively, helps explain Strauss's lifelong attachment to Zionism. Strauss, I argue, remained committed to Zionism not despite but because it was destined to fail. I suggest that Strauss's analysis remains provocative and relevant, particularly for those who might disagree with his conclusions.
Joseph Soloveitchik as Weimar Intellectual and Prophetic Ethicist
This article is an effort to advance the way Joseph Soloveitchik is read, in large part by way of (re)situating his work within its original, though not only, context: Before Soloveitchik was a leading figure of post-World-War-II Orthodox Judaism in America, he was a Berlin-trained, Weimar-era European philosopher, and his work is decisively animated, I show, by his concerns as the latter. I focus in particular on Soloveitchik's The Halakhic Mind, a work that has been predominantly read as a methodological intervention addressed to philosophers of religion in general and practitioners of Jewish thought in particular. The standard reading is not wrong. It is, however, critically incomplete, in that it elides one of the project's most fundamental concerns: to save European humanity from itself—or, following shortly after World War II, to set European humanity aright as prophylactic security against further civilizational catastrophe. Second, on the standard reading The Halakhic Mind is a fundamentally neo-Kantian project. This characterization is misleadingly incomplete: The work does indeed insist on a strong neo-Kantian constraint on the spiritual program it promotes, but that program is deeply and explicitly phenomenological and existentialist rather than neo-Kantian in character. Finally, studies of Soloveitchik's thought simply have not lent attention to Soloveitchik's distinctively prophetic, as opposed to legal, ethics of social responsibility. It is the practice of prophecy, understood as a human universal, which emerges as Soloveitchik's principal prescription for confronting the philosophically decisive threat of mass-societal evil.
Was There a Jerusalem School of Modern Jewish Politics? A Case Study in the Organization, Construction, Production, and Limits of Knowledge
This article examines how two central scholars based at the Hebrew University's Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Jonathan Frankel, and Ezra Mendelsohn, conceived, created, and codified the academic sub-field of modern Jewish politics. The article begins by discussing studies by earlier historians of the Jews like Salo W. Baron, Shmuel Ettinger, and Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi whose work often touched upon the intersection between Jews and politics. While Mendelsohn and Frankel's research was based upon key concepts developed by these scholars, their focus on the centrality of Jewish agency, the role of the Jewish intelligentsia, and the turn to "the (Jewish) people" helped create a new scholarly framework for imagining, analyzing, and researching modern Jewish politics. Despite their many achievements, they both overlooked several important topics in modern Jewish history including the role of religion, the activities of Jewish women, the experiences of Jews in North Africa and the Middle East, and the impact of Jewish politics on the Palestinians. By examining how these topics are dealt with in more recent works, the penultimate section in this article points to both the continuing influence of Mendelsohn and Frankel's scholarly paradigm as well as some of its inherent limits. In doing so, this analysis of modern Jewish politics makes for an intriguing case study regarding the organization, construction, and production of a particular field of knowledge while simultaneously raising critical questions regarding the very nature, limits, and future of Jewish studies.
Submitted by Paul Chase, Penn Press Journals