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How Jewish is Jewish History?$
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Moshe Rosman

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113348

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113348.001.0001

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The Jewish Contribution to (Multicultural) Civilization

The Jewish Contribution to (Multicultural) Civilization

(p.111) Four The Jewish Contribution to (Multicultural) Civilization
How Jewish is Jewish History?

Moshe Rosman

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the Jewish ‘contribution discourse’. It argues that this discourse was a sign of Jewish unease, frustration, and fear in the face of indicators that, despite Jews' ‘good faith’ efforts to conform to the legal, social, and cultural demands of the emancipating societies, and notwithstanding legal guarantees of civil and political equality, their integration was in reality but partial, contingent, tenuous, and even revocable. The persistence of active antisemitism and unofficial or informal barriers to complete Jewish participation in social, cultural, and economic endeavours prompted Jews to attempt to demonstrate their worthiness to qualify as fully fledged members of society. Analysis of their contributions would serve this cause. At least it could bolster Jewish self-confidence and stiffen Jews' resolve in continuing their struggle for acceptance. It was paramount that Jews themselves should have a sense of their own value and importance if they were to morally convince or legally coerce others to recognize finally that they really belonged.

Keywords:   contribution discourse, multicultural civilization, Jewish culture, Jewish emancipation, Jewish participation, Jewish integration, Jewish contributions

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