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In the Year 1096

Chazan, Dr. Robert

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ISBN 10: 0827605757 / ISBN 13: 9780827605756
Verlag: The Jewish Publication Society
Gebraucht Zustand: Fine Hardcover
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0827605757 Fine in Fine dust jacket. First edition. Quality, Value, Experience. Media Shipped in New Boxes. Buchnummer des Verkäufers BING715012

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: In the Year 1096

Verlag: The Jewish Publication Society

Einband: Hardcover


Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included

Auflage: 1st Edition

Über diesen Titel


In 1996 the world commemorates the 900th anniversary of the First Crusade or, more precisely, of the pogroms unleashed by the crusade upon the Jews of the Rhineland. In the Year 1096... presents a clear, highly readable chronicle of the events of 1096. Noted teacher and historian Robert Chazan brings readers to critical moments in Jewish history, illuminating the events themselves, their antecedents, and their far-reaching consequences. Equally important, his book assesses the significance of the events of 1096 within the larger framework of Jewish history, including both the scope of persecution and the record of Jewish resistance. He has created a dramatic portrait of the clash between three conflicting forces in medieval Europe: the German crusaders, the Rhineland burghers, and the Rhineland Jews. His book provides an extensive look at the Christian assaults and the intense Jewish responses, with much material translated directly from remarkable Hebrew narratives which are admirable for both the vividness of their description and the complexity of the portrait they provide. Chazan tells the story of 1096 in "grays, " not blacks and whites; that is, he relates stories of Christian enemies, but also of Christian friends, and of Jewish martyrs, but also of Jewish negotiators and converts. The author devotes the second half of In the Year 1096... to tracing these events through the intervening nine centuries of Jewish history. In the second part he surveys the Jewish perception of 1096 over the ages, including both the neglect of these events in some quarters and their emphasis in others; he places 1096 within the lengthy history of anti-Jewish actions and thinking, and examines theunusual behaviors of the Rhineland Jews within the context of historic Jewish responses to persecution.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A plodding study of the background, dynamics, and historical treatments of the Rhineland massacre of Jews in the First Crusade. Chazan (Hebrew and Judaic Studies/New York Univ.) turns a potentially compelling article into an overly long book, with needless repetition and analysis, and too many awkward sentences like the following: ``The foregoing survey of the destruction of the Jewish communities of Worms, Mainz, and Cologne has served to concretize this sense of an unanticipated crisis seemingly erupting overnight.'' What does emerge are some insights into a uniquely gory and (possibly) glorious chapter of diaspora Jewish history from nine hundred years ago. We learn that the pope-inspired crusade was taken over by out-of-control German peasant mobs, aided by local burghers who wanted Jews eliminated as competitors rather than killed in Christ's honor. To avoid torture and forcible conversion by the towns' bloodthirsty mob, almost the entire Jewish population of 3,000 opted for suicide. While the sketchy records of this unique bloodbath are liturgical in style, elegiac in tone, and written 36 years after the fact, Chazan analyzes them as though they were scripture. He quotes Maimonides in pointing out the problems of Jewish law involved with parents slaughtering their children, but there are other occasions where Chazan seems to have little grasp of basic Jewish theology. He does not, for instance, see antimaterial and antisexual passages as aberrant. As Chazan views the events of 1096 in historical perspective, he sees the political struggle of Masada eclipsing the religious conflict of the Rhineland as the modern paradigm of extreme Jewish resistance in the face of imminent destruction. Given its limitations, the book will chiefly be of interest to students of medieval Jewish history. (History Book Club selection) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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