I have now met two of the other Jewlicious bloggers, and so my sense of this blog as an imaginary entity is slowly disappearing. Which is a good thing, and which makes explaining to my classmates my connection to something called “Jewlicious” a bit less of a challenge.

Now, for the post. The very, very grad-studenty post, as it relates directly to a book I’ve just discovered is most useful for not one but two of my papers this term. Everyone must read “Obstinate Hebrews” by Ronald Schechter. He provides a whole new way of looking at French Jews in 18th century France, as well as more general questions and problems. (Yes, Jews in 18th century France were, for what it’s worth, a question, and for many, a problem). The gist is that the Jews are a problem because we are seen as stubborn and unchanging. That, and that the Enlightenment philosophers were completely obsessed with Jews, more so than the average person at Fairway or Zabars, even though it was a rare French person who’d even met a Jew. It’s fascinating stuff.

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7 Comments

  • Very interesting book.
    Also, if anyone’s interested and knows
    French, you should “google”
    Le grand rabbin Joseph Sitruk.
    He’s recently written a book called
    “La vie ne vaut rien, mais rien ne vaut une vie”. I don’t know if it’s out in English yet.
    Also google “le grand rabbin Jacob Kaplan”
    (1895-1994)- terrific guy.
    He even had a French stamp issued with his picture on it.
    There is also a stamp issued by France
    with a picture of Rashi.

  • The title could be recapitulated for almost every western European nation. Attacks, then as now both from the secular ‘left’ and the more religious ‘right’ were always a common experience. Some things never change. Cheers & Good Luck, ‘VJ’

  • Very valuable post.

    A huge subject with many angles.

    We are too right for the left, and too left for the right.

    (Like Shakespeare. Who liked us.)

  • We insist on a liberalism which partners with G-d.

    The left says, “liberalism, sure, but what’s with this G-d stuff.” The right says, “G-d, sure, but who needs all this liberalism.”

    We wonder, in real, and sometimes fatal innocence, what the problem is. It is so easy for us. We are used to the balance. We understand intuitively that liberty isn’t license.

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