Recommendation Whether to Confiscate, Destroy and Burn All Jewish Booksby Johannes Reuchlin
Every once in a while at a critical point in history, a book appears that changes the course of events forever. In 1510, Johannes Reuchlin, a scholar, lawyer and humanist, wrote his landmark legal opinion that those books fundamental to the practice of the Jewish faith should not be taken away from Jews and destroyed by Christians. While he was condemned himself for his stand, the book opened the eyes of scholars and political leaders to the need to understand and appreciate the wealth of religious truth and insight in the Talmud and other works. Reuchlin did not stop anti-Semitism in the Reformation by either Catholics or Protestants, but he stemmed the advance of those vowed to wipe Judaism out in Europe and began the long, slow movement in the West to appreciate and learn what Judaism really was.
This is a vital document in the history of Jewish-Christian relations and a telling taste of the anti-Semitic virulence of the sixteenth century. Mr. Wortsman's foreword and Dr. Elisheva Carlebach's critical evaluation of the document and the period are masterful and valuable for any understanding of Christian attitudes toward the Jews, especially in Germany five centuries ago.
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