Zakhor, Jewish History and Jewish Memory

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University of Washington Press, 1982 - Religion - 144 pages
Discusses the nature of Jewish historical memory which traditionally concentrated on the religious meaning of history rather than on the events themselves. Medieval Jewish historians focused either on the ancient past or on recent persecutions, tending to identify them with biblical patterns of oppression. For example, the Hebrew chronicles of the Crusader massacres show awareness of a deterioration in Christian-Jewish relations, using the "binding of Isaac" as a pattern for Jewish martyrdom. Although the chronicles were forgotten, the memory of the persecutions was preserved in halakhic and liturgical works. The expulsion from Spain in 1492 stimulated a minor resurgence in Jewish historiography. However, the kabbalistic myth proved more influential than history. Modern Jewish historiography is based on the secular concept of historical science and, especially since the Holocaust, cannot take the place of group memory.

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User Review  - nbmars - LibraryThing

This is a collection of essays on Jewish history and Jewish memory. One of Yerushalmi’s primary points is that “history” as we think of it now is nothing like it was in the pre-modern era. There were ... Read full review

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User Review  - berthirsch - LibraryThing

Zakhor by Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi A unique meditation on the role memory, forgetting and history plays in the life of the Jewish people. From the Torah to the Spanish Inquisition and the assimilation ... Read full review

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