Chosen Peoples

Being the First ''Arthur Davis Memorial Lecture'' delivered before the Jewish Historical Society at University College on Easter-Passover Sunday, 1918/5678

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Author: Israel Zangwill
Published: 1919
Language: English
Wordcount: 13,203 / 46 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 41.5
LoC Category: BL
Downloads: 1,638
Added to site: 2007.02.20 16101
Genres: Religion, Essays

The Arthur Davis Memorial Lecture was founded in 1917, under the auspices of the Jewish Historical Society of England, by his collaborators in the translation of

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course, however fools suffered. Our daily bread, said the sages, is as miraculous as the division of the Red Sea. And the dry retort of the soberest of Pharisaic Rabbis, when a voice from heaven interfered with the voting on a legal point, en mashgîchin be-bathkol--"We cannot have regard to the Bath Kol, the Torah is for earth, not heaven"--was a sign that, for one school of thought at least, reason and the democratic principle were not to be browbeaten, and that the era of miracles in Judaism was over. The very incoherence of the Talmud, its confusion of voices, is an index of free thinking. Post-biblical Israel has had a veritable galaxy of thinkers and saints, from Maimonides its Aquinas to Crescas its Duns Scotus, from Mendelssohn its Erasmus to the Baal-Shem its St. Francis. But it has been at once the weakness and the strength of orthodox Judaism never to have made a breach with its past; possibly out of too great a reverence for history, possibly out of over-consideration for the masses


Average Rating of 4 from 2 reviews: ****

I fear I must disagree with the prior reviewer. The work seems to be an attack upon anti-Semitism thought to be arising in Germany. The work says nothing at all about the nature of anti-Semitism or the modern history of Europe in producing it, as the Panic of 1873, produced by Jewish money manipulators and some swindlers in Germany.

If one has not actually read Maimonides, it may be hard to understand what the author is saying. Maimonides' attempt to link Judaism and Aristotle has some truth, but the true leaning of Maimonides is toward science, though he follows the standard dictum pretty much in M-Torah, his major Hebrew work.

The "Chosen People" lecture tells nothing which one not very familiar with Judaism is going to grasp. The Chosen status is the fundamental basis of Jewish ethics. It exists with the definition that God is cause and effect linked with the economic, mechanical, logical natures of the universe.

Readers who do not understand the meaning of this will be highly misled by this lecture.

True understanding of Judaism is essential to understanding history. In High School and general European History in college Magna Carta was formed to further the powers of knights, lords, etc opposed to the king. True enough, but the great purpose was to
have the king use his office to protect these people from Jewish Money-lenders, as the Jews had a monopoly on money.

Look at Judges 19. Ask: Did the Levite do the right thing in pushing the girl out the door? If you cannot see the answer as Yes,
you have not understood.

Raymond J. Ryan

If you have not read this book- do so at your first opportunity. There is in the air a sea change in Jewish-Catholic relations and this book was most helpful to me in giving clear and valuable insight into Jewish history. This is an exciting read- not a comment often heard on this subject. Do yourself a favor-read it !! Regards- Ray Ryan

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