The Veil of Moses describes the creation of Russian romantic literary stereotypes which shaped the opinion of the Russian public on the Jews. These stereotypes in turn generated long-lasting habits of dealing with Jews and Jewish themes in Russian culture and politics. This volume introduces a formidable corpus of previously neglected evidence into the scholarship, namely, journalism and second- and third-rank prose. Journalism, influenced by more humane Western attitudes, reflected changes and presented a more objective picture of the Jews. It was the romantic prose, full of mythology and appealing to dark instincts that created the most odious anti-semitic clichés.
About the Author
Mikhail Weisskopf, Ph.D.(summa cum laude), Hebrew University, is lecturer at that university. He is the author of five monographs on Russian literature. His sixth, A Demiurge in Love: Metaphysics and Eros of Russian Romanticism is now available in Moscow.
Table of Contents
Preface to the English EditionAcknowledgementsTranslator’s PrefaceAuthor’s PrefaceIntroduction to the English EditionChapter One: The Religious-Historical ContextChapter Two: A Look at Foreign Jewry: The Adoption of Western ModelsChapter Three: The Magic of Kabbalah and the Aesthetics of the Old TestamentChapter Four: Russia as the New IsraelChapter Five: The Ideological and Social Background of the Jewish ImageChapter Six: Encounters with Judaism and the Jews: Amendments to Real ImpressionsChapter Seven: Literary TemplatesChapter Eight: The Journalistic Campaign of 1838 and its RepercussionsChapter Nine: Baptism or Repatriation?Chapter Ten: A People without a Homeland: The Jews in Russia in the 1840sEpilogue: The Further Evolution of the Jewish Theme