The invention of the 'goyim'

Sara Ben-Isaac's picture
March 22, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies, Ethnic History / Studies, Jewish History / Studies, Modern European History / Studies

Online lecture given by Prof. Ishay Rosen-Zvi.

When was the goy invented? Much scholarship is devoted to Jewish relations with gentiles, but the category itself - which divides reality in its entirety in a binary manner: Jews and non-Jews - was taken for granted. The speaker argues that the binary Jew/goy partition is anything but self-evident and first appears in rabbinic literature.

Ishay Rosen-Zvi teaches rabbinic literature and is the Chair of the department of Jewish Philosophy and Talmud at Tel-Aviv University. He has written on Midrash and Mishnah, as well as on issues of self-formation and collective identity in Second-Temple Judaism, Early Christianity and rabbinic literature.

Contact Info: 

UCL Institute of Jewish Studies

Contact Email: