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Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years (Pluto Middle Eastern Studies) First Edition Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Recommended books: 'The Holocaust Industry' (by Finkelstein) 'An Eye for an Eye' (John Sack)
The anti-Semitism in part of the peasantry of eastern and central Europe is commonly stereotyped as the product of Christian religion and of their backwardness. By contrast, Shahak emphasizes the evolution of Polish society in a direction that placed peasants and Jews into a quasi-adversarial position. It began with the uncontrolled growth of the power of self-interested nobility since about 1600: "This process was accompanied by a debasement in the position of the Polish peasants (who had been free in the Middle Ages) to the point of utter serfdom, hardly distinguishable from outright slavery and certainly the worst in Europe." (p. 61).
The Jewish situation then was very different: "Polish Jewry burst into social and political prominence accompanied, as usual, with a much greater degree of autonomy. It was at this time that Poland's Jews were granted their greatest privileges...Until 1939, the population of many towns east of the river Bug was at least 90 percent Jewish...Outside the towns very many Jews throughout Poland, but especially in the east, were employed as the direct supervisors and oppressors of the enserfed peasantry." (pp. 62-63).
"But, as we have remarked, the peasants suffered worse oppression at the hands of both landlords and Jews; and one may assume that, except in times of peasant uprisings, the full weight of the Jewish religious laws against Gentiles fell upon the peasants." (p. 63).
Shahak continues: "Internal conditions within the Jewish community moved in a similar course...In the period 1500-1795...Read more ›
By "Judaism", it must be understood that Mr. Shahak uses the term "classical Judaism". By definition, Judaism itself is Talmudic/Rabbinic/Pharisaic. Not to be confused with the Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform, et. al. "movements", as these do NOT constitute the religion of Judaism.
True Judaism is Orthodox...it always has been as such. This work discusses "Orthodox" Judaism. I mention this upfront because many who may read this and know someone who is Jewish, or is Jewish themselves, who does not believe or practice the items mentioned in this writing, may experience some confusion. This is due to the fact that this book deals mainly with Orthodox Judaism, which is Talmudic/Rabbinic/Pharisaic.
The so-called Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform, et. al. "movements" have appeared only since the early to mid-1800's. Before this Judaism was Judaism. It was neither "Reformed" nor "Conservative", etc. In the most basic sense, it was and always has been Orthodox. Understanding Mr. Shahak's work is vital to this fact.
To the layperson, Jews are Jews and their religion is simply the religion of the Old Testament. Nothing could be further from the truth. "This is not an uncommon impression and one finds it sometimes among Jews as well as Christians - that Judaism is the religion of the Hebrew bible. It is, of course, a fallacious impression ... Judaism is not the religion of the Bible." (Rabbi Ben Zion Boskser, Judaism and the Christian Predicament, p 59, 159.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A revealing book written by a Jewish academic living in Israel (now deceased).Published on July 28, 2014 by PROF PS KRITZINGER
Israel Shahak has written a long needed and balanced review of some of the teachings of the Talmud and the rabbis. Read morePublished on April 18, 2014 by attheburningbush
Israel Shahak's book debunks many of the self-congratulatory myths that have accumulated around Judaism.
It is NOT a balanced account -- nor does it pretend to be. Read more
This has to be one of the most brilliant, life changing books. Although it isn't very long, I lingered over every word, and highlighted and wrote all over it. Read morePublished on February 22, 2012 by RochelleYork
I couldn't resist reading this book. My three favorite American intellectuals Noam Chomsky, Edward W. Said and Gore Vidal have in one way or another recommended it. Read morePublished on October 8, 2010 by Peter J. Piaseckyj
Shahak is relentlessly faithful to truth.
This is a complete rendition of the truth about Israel. There should be more like it. Read more