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Jews at HomeThe Domestication of Identity$
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Simon J. Bronner

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113461

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113461.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

At Home in the World

At Home in the World

Chapter:
(p.295) Eleven At Home in the World
Source:
Jews at Home
Author(s):

David Kraemer

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113461.003.0012

This chapter is a response to the previous chapter's assumption that the development of Jews at home as an emotional concept is new by mining rabbinical sources to find precedent in Jewish tradition. Though it does not dismiss the arguments already made, the chapter asserts that the previous might be built upon too short-term a view of Jewish history. For most of the examples called upon to illustrate or bolster the previous chapter's arguments, here there are analogous historical examples that work to strengthen Judaism and the community of adherents. In fact, the lesson of Jewish history, and particularly of the rabbinic age, is that Jews should not inhibit themselves because of the fear of ultimate failure, because stasis itself could lead to stagnation and even death. It is today recognized by most historians of the period that the rabbis were originally a very small group. This means that, early on, their practices took centuries to become ‘traditional’. The chapter contends that it is arguably the rabbis' combining of the inherited with the boldly innovative that enabled Jews living in an age of challenge and frequent discomfort to survive as Jews into the coming era.

Keywords:   Jews at home, rabbinical sources, Jewish history, Jewish innovations, Jewish traditions, rabbinical practices

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