Love and Liberation: When the Jews Tore down the Ghetto Walls

Overview

Love and Liberation documents the history of Jews from the Age of Enlightenment, when eighteen centuries of restrictions and official oppression first eased, through the French Revolution, its granting the rights of citizenship, and the Napoleonic conquests that extended those rights to Jews across the continent. Historic realities are revealed through the eyes of persons who, in their love for one another, tore down the ghetto walls, battled Church and state sponsored persecution from without and religious ...
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Overview

Love and Liberation documents the history of Jews from the Age of Enlightenment, when eighteen centuries of restrictions and official oppression first eased, through the French Revolution, its granting the rights of citizenship, and the Napoleonic conquests that extended those rights to Jews across the continent. Historic realities are revealed through the eyes of persons who, in their love for one another, tore down the ghetto walls, battled Church and state sponsored persecution from without and religious fundamentalism within, built new economic structures from the wreckage of feudalism, and founded Reform Judaism .

In the Breslau ghetto, Jonah seeks to avenge his father, unjustly imprisoned by Prussians. When his Jacobin cell is discovered, he flees westward, joins the French revolutionists, and battles his way back to Hadassah, the schoolmaster's daughter, the love he seeks to liberate.

Aaron finds comfort in the Talmud and tries to find a way to express its message of social justice against the control of the fundamentalists, on the one hand, and the growing impetus for assimilation, on the other. He participates in the nascence of Reform Judaism.

Nathan, whose father manipulates the ambiguity of the period, builds economic opportunity as capitalism emerges from the wreckage of feudalism and navigates between the pushcart peddlers of his tradition and the salon society of affluent Berlin Jews.

Their interactions with one another and with representative and real characters of the time reveal the struggles and forces that culminate for each in their own personal liberation and that of Jews throughout Europe.

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What People Are Saying

Allen Freehling
Rabbi Allen Freehling of University Synagogue of Los Angeles
Judge Fertig has created a magnificent work, which came as a result of his devotion to research and scholarship. Moreover, because of his intriguing ability to use the information that he gathered in a most creative way, and since his vivid imagination has permitted him to portray a host of characters who capture the attention and then hold on to the interest of the book's readers, Love and Liberation provides anyone who chooses to take advantage of its presence to be entertained and to learn about an aspect of Jewish history that is of great importance to people of all faiths.

Therefore, I highly recommend that it be read and discussed, because it richly deserves a reader's time and interest.

Chaim Beliak
Rabbi Chaim Beliak of Jerusalem and Los Angeles
Fertig has captured a period of time often hidden from the view of knowledgeable professional historians and lay readers. How life was lived at the early moments of modernity. Jewish struggles in Germany for participation in civil society were arduous and difficult. Fertig connects all the dots in an entertaining and very readable fashion
Jay I. Frailich
Cantor Jay I. Frailich, D.M.
I was fascinated by the way Judge Fertig captured the time period. Through his characters we saw how the forces of liberation were sweeping the thoughts of Europeans and giving hope to enlightened ghettoized Jews. He also captured the feeling of being a part of the beginnings of Reform Judaism. Most of all, he took us into the world of the Jewish ghettos and made us see what it was like living with and getting around the pervasive anti-Semitism of the outside world. In other words, he made history come alive.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595163830
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.64 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2001

    A truly creative marriage of History and Art

    Love and Liberation is a truly creative marriage of History and Art. Ralph Fertig's poignant love story is set against a compelling backdrop of inhuman oppressiion of Jews in the Breslau ghetto and their heartrending struggles to achieve dignity and liberation. Fertig's brilliant command of History is as impressive as is his creative talent in vividly portraying multifaceted human beings. 'Love and Liberation' is an inspiring and beautiful book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2001

    Los Angeles Times Bestseller

    Los Angeles Times Book Review Section, June 10, 2001, listed LOVE AND LIBERATION as fourth (4th) Bestseller among Fiction Paperbacks.

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