The Anguish of the Jews: Twenty-Three Centuries of Anti-Semitism

The Anguish of the Jews: Twenty-Three Centuries of Anti-Semitism

The Anguish of the Jews: Twenty-Three Centuries of Anti-Semitism

The Anguish of the Jews: Twenty-Three Centuries of Anti-Semitism

Excerpt

The republication of this twenty year old history of anti‐ semitism undertaken on the initiative of a Christian publishing house is, paradoxically, a measure of both progress and failure in Jewish-Christian understanding and dialogue of the last score of years. A Christian publishing initiative taken on so self-incriminating a subject is obviously significant and encouraging. No less significant but less encouraging on the other hand is the need to republish it at all. The first objective of the original publication of the book was to acquaint Christians generally with the immense sufferings of Jews throughout the Christian era. The objective has not been realized. The problematic that supplied the motivation for the first publication still obtains. The vast majority of Christians, even well educated, are all but totally ignorant of what happened to Jews in history and of the culpable involvement of the Church. They are ignorant of this because, excepting a few recent inclusions, the antisemitic record does not appear in Christian history books or social studies, and because Christians are not inclined to read histories of antisemitism. Jews on the other hand are by and large acutely aware of this page of history if for no other reason than that it is so extensively and intimately intermingled with the history of the Jews and Judaism. It is little exaggeration to state that those pages of history Jews have committed to memory are the very ones that have been torn from Christian (and secular) history books. This new edition of the original volume is a . . .

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