Antisemitism Essay Generic Hatred In Memory Simon Wiesenthal

Antisemitism Essay Generic Hatred In Memory Simon Wiesenthal-47
In this article I have followed individual authors choices when quoting or citing their works.

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Interestingly enough, the Second Crusade was preceded by calls for protection of the Jews by prominent churchman, such as Bernard of Clairvaux.19 Even this call, however, was built upon antisemitic stereotypes, as Bernard wrote: "the Jews are not to be persecuted, killed, or even put to flight...

for they remind up always of what our Lord suffered.

Again, as in the classical era, the record was not totally one sided.

Popes such as Gregory the Great (590-604) attempted to protect Jews according to the rights that they were allowed while maintaining a balance of not allowing Jews more rights than they were permitted.17 This basic pattern would continue to dominate European Jewish history for hundreds of years, well into the medieval period.

They are dispersed all over the world so by expiating their crime they may be everywhere the living witness of our redemption."20 Jewish protection was thus linked to Christian witness.

It was also around this period that circumstances (economic growth that required fluid capital, along with Church attacks on Christian usury against Christians), combined with the traditional limitations on the Jewish presence in certain professions (agriculture, guilds, etc.) to create a specific Jewish specialization in banking and moneylending that would lead to further stereotyping.This meant that either the Christian reading of the Bible was false, or else that the Jews consciously and willfully denied the truth of the sacred text.The rivalry between Christian and Jew was not only internal.It is simple in that almost every Jew feels like they either have direct experience or at least an expert knowledge of it, and yet it is so complex that scholars still cannot agree on its exact definition.The definitions offered range from a broad description of antisemitism "as a term denoting (my emphasis) forms of hostility manifested toward Jews throughout history,"1 to narrower contexts that refer only to actions that cross certain specified lines (i.e.The Book of Revelations described the "Synagogue of Satan" (, 3:9) making explicit a linked identity between the Devil and the Jews that would continue for centuries; and in particular, the language of John Chrysostom (late 4 Century) stood out for it's invective.14 As the Roman world became Christianized, these attitudes were reflected in the legal codes, such as that of Theodosian (438).This code forbade Jews from interfering with conversions to Christianity, from owning Christian slaves (and later any slaves - thus helping remove Jews from all except small substinance farming), from proselytization amongst Christians, and from building new synagogues, and throughout all this Judaism was referred to as "nefarious," "sacrilegious" and in other negative terms.15 Ultimately, for Christianity, Jews had not only become dispersed (punished) for the crime of deicide committed in their degenerate condition, but Christianity "had polarized the actors of the Bible (original-Old Testament) into bad Jews and good Hebrews and thought of themselves as the descendants of the Hebrews and the true Israel."16 In this reading, all of God's promises and blessings were earmarked for Christianity and all the curses and punishments were reserved for Judaism.The Scroll of Esther as well as the Apocryphal books of Judith and Tobit have been viewed, in the words of one popular history, as being "the first evidence of those virulent anti-Jewish attitudes that were to become so frequently directed at major Jewish communities"3 in the Diaspora.The debate over historical references to antisemitism intensifies when we turn to the classical Greco-Roman period.Whatever one chooses to conclude about the definition of ancient anti-Judaism, there is no question that the birth of Christianity changed the situation dramatically.Many experts find the roots of modern antisemitism to be firmly imbedded in aspects of Christian theology.


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