Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years

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Israel Shahak, an Israeli Jew, born in Poland, incarcerated in Belsen and a resident in Israel for over 40 years, has produced an intriguing and controversial study of the extent to which the secular state of Israel has been shaped by religious orthodoxies of a potentially dangerous nature. While Muslim fundamentalism is vilified in the West, Jewish fundamentalism goes largely unremarked. Shahak claims that classical Judaism is used to justify policies that are as bad as some of the worst excesses of ...
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Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years

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Overview

Israel Shahak, an Israeli Jew, born in Poland, incarcerated in Belsen and a resident in Israel for over 40 years, has produced an intriguing and controversial study of the extent to which the secular state of Israel has been shaped by religious orthodoxies of a potentially dangerous nature. While Muslim fundamentalism is vilified in the West, Jewish fundamentalism goes largely unremarked. Shahak claims that classical Judaism is used to justify policies that are as bad as some of the worst excesses of anti-Semitism.
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Editorial Reviews

Christopher Hitchens
Subjects the whole history of Orthodoxy ... to a hilarious and scrupulous critique.
The Nation
Middle East Studies Association Bulletin
Shahak and Mezvinsky's "Jewish History, Jewish Religion" is refreshing in its critique of Jewish fundamentalism and therefore serves as a welcome addition to the literature in the field.
Christopher Hitchens
Subjects the whole history of Orthodoxy ... to a hilarious and scrupulous critique.
The Nation
From the Publisher
'Shahak is a very brave man who should be honored for his services to humanity ... One of the most remarkable individuals in the contemporary Middle East.' Edward Said 'Shahak subjects the whole history of Orthodoxy ... to a hilarious and scrupulous critique.' —Christopher Hitchens

'The future of the Palestinian people would have looked much brighter if there had been more Israelis like Shahak ... An outstanding personality.' The Jerusalem Times 'Dr Shahak's courage in speaking out against the very foundations of the state of Israel, and his kindly, humane personality, have won him influential friends.' —Al Hayat

'Deserves a wide readership, not only among Jews, but among Christians who seek a fuller understanding both of historical Judaism and of modern-day Israel.’ —Catholic New Times

‘His message gets to the heart of U.S.-Israeli relations. It is not only Jews who should read Jewish History, Jewish Religion, but Christians as well.’ —Middle East Policy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745308197
  • Publisher: Pluto Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1994
  • Series: Pluto Middle Eastern Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 152
  • Product dimensions: 5.39 (w) x 8.51 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Israel Shahak was a resident of the Warsaw Ghetto and a survivor of Bergen-Belsen. He arrived in Palestine in 1945 and lived there until his death in 2001. He was an outspoken critic of the state of Israel and a human rights activist. He was also the author of the highly acclaimed Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (Pluto Press 1999) and Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear and Foreign Policies (Pluto Press 1997).

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Table of Contents

Foreword
1 A Closed Utopia? 1
2 Prejudice and Prevarication 14
3 Orthodoxy and Interpretation 32
4 The Weight of History 50
5 The Laws against Non-Jews 75
6 Political Consequences 99
Notes and References 104
Index 119
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2000

    Shahak says what is normally censored

    I highly recommend reading the book ¿Jewish history, Jewish Religion¿. Its author, Israel Shahak, a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, engages in deep introspection about Jewish religion and practices. He seems deeply toubled by the rigidity, and intolerance of Jewish religion. Shahak quotes from the Talmud and points out a pervasive Jewish racism and haughtiness toward non-Jews. He believes that anti-semitism may have its roots in this historic Jewish mindset. Shahak also points out a wide-spread practice of deception and double-speak. In writing this book, he hopes that other Jews will engage in similar introspection to estabish a more harmonious relationship with Goyims.

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