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By S. D. Berkowitz

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The Jewish Community: Its History and Structure to the American Revolution, Vol. 1

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Preface
Jewish communal background during the millennia of diaspora existence has lengthy been the topic of substantial scholarly consciousness. the eu group of the pre-Emancipation period, specifically, has for many years attracted smooth investigators by way of its a number of outstanding gains. Its notable blend of spiritual and secular authority, its nearly “extraterritorial” prestige and “sovereign” political powers and its overwhelming keep an eye on over its participants have flattered the political pursuits of nationally minded glossy Jews, yet antagonized many reformers and anti-segregationists. Philo-Sémites and anti-Semites one of the non-Jews, too, have frequently held yes evaluations in regards to the “ghetto” neighborhood. Like their Jewish confreres, although, they, too, have often substituted one or one other bias for trustworthy details and sound reasoning. it really is was hoping that this primary try at a complete ancient and sociological research of the full communal evolution to the Emancipation period may help to advertise readability, if now not unanimity of appraisal.

Apart from the standard embarrassment in defining the hugely ambiguous time period “community” — it really is used the following within the triumphing, organizational feel that is even narrower than that of the German Gemeinde — scholars of communal elements of Jewish historical past are beset by way of opposing problems: an severe dearth of fabric for yes components and classes and a plethora of extant details on different areas and epochs. glossy literature at the topic, too, is erratically dispensed and masses repetition in a single box is irritated through approximately overall silence in others. the current writer has made an attempt to take care of the relative proportions of some of the levels of his ramified subject despite this quantitative disparity. within the use of the colossal and demanding literature of rabbinic responsa, for instance, he has been guided largely by way of the significance of the international locations or centuries in their provenance. consultant samples from different parts and classes have been thought of extra promising than mere focus on works of some remarkable masters, even if nice a power the latter could have wielded at the next evolution of Jewish law.

The concentration of this whole paintings is based at the eu group of the center a long time and early sleek occasions, either due to the nice richness and diversity of its ancient accomplishments and, genetically, due to its intimate linkage to Jewish neighborhood lifestyles in the course of the global at the present time. even as its deep moorings within the historical and contemporaneous jap groups have come to the fore ever extra insistently. actually, whereas attempting to become aware of the hidden springs of this phenomenally tenacious evolution, the author stumbled on himself delving deeper and deeper not just into the vague geographical regions of the 1st Exile and the Persian and Hellenistic dispersion, but additionally into the early manifestations of historic Palestinian municipal lifestyles. Many quite unforeseen relationships have laid naked essentially the most autochthonous roots of the diaspora neighborhood securely ensconced within the ever fertile soil of historical Israel. it's been discovered helpful, hence, to dedicate the 1st chapters to a basic define of either the fashionable foreground and the traditional historical past of the group in dispersion in its outstanding ancient occupation from the Babylonian Exile to the yank and French Revolutions.

About the Author

Salo W. Baron, who was once a rabbi, educator, and editor, used to be esteemed as a Jewish historian. A prolific author, Baron was once top recognized for his eighteen-volume paintings A Social and non secular historical past of the Jews. He was once ordained a rabbi in 1920 and acquired doctoral levels in philosophy, political technological know-how, and legislation from the collage of Vienna. He later served as a professor of Jewish heritage and literature at Columbia collage for thirty-three years. As a student, Baron is credited with broadening and modernizing the historical view of the Jewish adventure. furthermore, he supplied testimony for the prosecution on the trial of Nazi legitimate Adolf Eichmann. Baron additionally edited Jewish Social stories and the sequence "A Documentary background of yank Jews. "

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Extra info for An Introduction to Structural Analysis. The Network Approach to Social Research

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Addison-Wesley, 1978. " After almost a century of research into topics—such as families, peer groups, friendship, ethnicity, and urban neighborhoods—where this conceptual framework is only marginally useful, the predominant tendency is to continue to view the social world as a simple extension of the sentiments, motivations, and attitudes of individual actors. At best, conventional social science sees the ties which bind actors together into families, ethnic groups, friendship circles, and other social entities as products of individual consciousness or internal states of mind.

5 In the same vein, sociologists who have compiled detailed and, in many ways, sensitive "family histories" in Latin American barrios have often adopted the same individualistic analytic approach they would in surveying North American middle-class whites. 6 These assumptions and models, moreover, have not been confined to the realm of pure theory. Social workers, psychiatrists, job counsellors, and school officials are trained to look for the sources of personal difficulties in individual feelings and attitudes and in their clients' consequent inability to "adjust" to others' expectations.

4 We can best appreciate how deeply these individualistic interpretations of reality have been etched into the worldview of conventional Western social scientists when we examine the vocabulary of motives which they attribute to other, non-Western peoples. For instance, Franz Boas's otherwise excellent explanation of the "potlatch" ceremony lays unusual stress on the individual rewards derived from it. 5 In the same vein, sociologists who have compiled detailed and, in many ways, sensitive "family histories" in Latin American barrios have often adopted the same individualistic analytic approach they would in surveying North American middle-class whites.

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