"It's difficult to admit the obvious"
political world

Religion (Christian, Jewish, Muslim)

Cursed christians:Cursing the Christians?: A History of the Birkat HaMinim

Friday, July 15, 2016
This is a fascinating, technical book. The author traces the history of the BIRKAT HAMINIM from antiquity, through the Middle Ages, and to modern times. In recent times, this prayer has been softened, with removal of reference to enemies, and with the condemnation of evil, as an abstraction, having replaced the condemnation of sinners. (pp. 156-on)

goyim, christian animals,
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The Culture of the Babylonian Talmud

Friday, July 15, 2016
Talmud talmudic ethics,religious Jews
A major theme of this work is that the traditions of the Palestinian Talmud had a much more favorable view of non-learned and non-rabbinic Jews than did the traditions of the Babylonian Talmud (Bavli). (For specifics, see p. 8, 45, 123, 126, 131, and 134.) >>more...

The Experience of Jewish Liturgy (Brill Reference Library of Judaism:Aleinu and its Anti-Christian Character

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
The Experience of Jewish Liturgy (Brill Reference Library of Judaism >>more...

: A World Problem: Jews-Poland-Humanity - A Psychological and Historical Study. Translated from Polish (Paperback)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Nowadays, books on Polish-Jewish relations adhere to the Manichean view of the Jewish victim and the intolerant Pole. [This has been a trope in Jewish writing for at least a century, as is obvious from p. 67]. The present book may go too far in the opposite direction. If so, the student of Polish-Jewish relations can use this book to counterbalance the other, modern extreme, and come up with a middle, Judeorealistic view of Jewish-Polish relations. >>more...

The Politics of Polish Jewry 1935-1939 (Monographs of the Hebrew Union College) (Hardcover)

Saturday, October 24, 2015
The author surveys Polish-Jewish relations in pre-WWII Poland that had following the death of Jozef Pilsudski (1935-1939). Compared with most other Jewish authors, Emanuel Melzer is non-strident in his manner of expression, and he often presents both sides of the picture. However, he omits important facts, and I mention some of them, below, for the benefit of the reader. >>more...

A Disappointingly-Brief Talmud Apologetic -tocover real content

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
This short (15-page) pamphlet was written in 1934 by Talmudic scholar Joseph Shapotshnick, who was President of the Rabbinical Association in England. The author called attention to the way that Adolf Hitler and Alfred Rosenberg were vilifying the Jewish people. (p. 3).
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Jews and tax evasion

Thursday, September 17, 2015
The author identifies himself as Jewish. (p. x). His work consists of many details on the Jewish provisions, in rabbinical literature, dealing with gentiles.

JEWISH UNIVERSALISM: GENTILES WELCOMED INTO THE TEMPLE

Gentiles had access to the Temple, though it was limited, (quote) The two relevant meanings for our purposes are the Temple as YHWH’s residence and the Temple as the Israelites’ ethnic shrine. (unquote). (p. 303). Though author Gary Porton does not put it this way, this situation reflects the ambivalence of YHWH as a Jewish tribal Deity, and YHWH as the God of all peoples. [This corresponds to Polish scholar Feliks Koneczny’s idea of Judaism consisting of both monolatry and monotheism. >>more...

he Talmud and Other Rabbinical Writings

Sunday, August 2, 2015
There is a wealth of information in this detailed work by Talmudic scholar Abraham Cohen, and I focus on a few items of lasting interest. [In addition, please see the first comment under this review.] My review is based on the original 1949 edition.

I have read the verses, in the online Babylonian Talmud (Soncino Edition), that I specifically cite below, in order to familiarize myself with them and to see their proper context. However, not all of the material mentioned below comes from the Talmud itself. Some comes from other Rabbinical sources. Whenever possible, I have read them also. >>more...

An Introduction to the World of the Talmud and Other Rabbinical Writings

Thursday, July 30, 2015
There is a wealth of information in this detailed work by Talmudic scholar Abraham Cohen, and I focus on a few items of lasting interest. [In addition, please see the first comment under this review.] My review is based on the original 1949 edition. >>more...

The Rise of Modern Yiddish Culture (Pitt Russian East European

Thursday, October 9, 2014
In my review, I do not limit my analysis to the book itself. I extend the content to broader issues of lasting relevance.

This work goes beyond Yiddishist developments. It contains an assortment of interesting information. For instance, Chaim Zhitlovsky, and other cultural radicals like him, rejected Purim as a chauvinistic celebration of Jewish vengeance. (p. 109). On another subject, Fishman provides interesting detail on the origins of YIVO, and the heroic efforts to save part of its archives from the German Nazis >>more...
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