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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 33Jewish Religious Life in Poland since 1750$
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François Guesnet, Antony Polonsky, Ada Rapoport-Albert, and Marcin Wodzinski

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764753

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764753.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 28 January 2022

Being and Becoming

Being and Becoming

Polish Conversions to Judaism and the Dynamics of Affiliation

(p.425) Being and Becoming
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 33

Jan Lorenz

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores conversions to Judaism in pre-modern confessional states that were recognized as central to the experience of European Jews and became common in antiquity in the last two centuries BCE. It talks about the procedure and legal ramifications of conversion to Judaism that first emerged in the reforms that were retroactively attributed to Nehemiah and Ezra. It also explains how conversions to Judaism are considered as a social organization of difference of the situational reorganization of ethnic boundaries, which responds to the perceived threat of Hellenism and assimilation. The chapter looks at accounts of transition to Judaism from early modern western Europe, which were generally kept in secret as they ran the risk of ostracism by the surrounding Christian world. It discusses how individuals who became Jewish at the time were being driven by intellectual and theological reasoning.

Keywords:   Judaism, European Jews, Nehemiah, Ezra, ethnic boundaries, Hellenism, Christian world

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