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FAITH:
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YIDDISHKEIT:
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POLITICS:
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POLITICS:
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CULTURE:
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HOLLYWOOD:
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This page is a subset of texts derived from the three major online Sourcebooks listed below, along with added texts and web site indicators. For more contextual information, for instance about Western imperialism, the Islamic world, or the history of a given period, check out these web sites.

For help in research, homework, and so forth see

Notes:

In addition to direct links to documents, links are made to a number of other web resources.
2ND
Link to a secondary article, review or discussion on a given topic.
MEGA
Link to one of the megasites which track web resources.
WEB
Link to a website focused on a specific issue.. These are not links to every site on a given topic, but to sites of serious educational value.

Contents

  • The People of Israel
    • Pre-Israelite Canaan/Palestine/Syria
    • The Bible as a Source
    • Ethnogenesis
    • Moses and Monotheism
    • Conquest of the Land
    • The National Monarchy
    • Mythological Foundations
  • The Emergence of Judaism
    • General
    • Jews and Judaism in the Land of Israel
    • The First Century CE Context
    • The Qumran Sect
    • Jews in the Diaspora
    • Diaspora Religious Developments
    • The Conflict with Rome
    • Triumph of Rabbinic Judaism
    • Modern Perspectives on Ancient Israel
  • The Jewish Middle Ages
    • General
    • Jewish Communities and Individuals in Islam
    • Jewish Communities and Individuals in Christendom
    • Jews and the State in Christendom
    • Jewish Communities Outside Islam and Christendom
    • Jewish Intellectual and Religious Life
    • Christian Anti-Semitism
    • Early Modern Jewish Life
  • Jewish Life Since the Enlightenment
    • The Enlightenment and the Jews
    • The Jewish Enlightenment [The Haskalah]
    • Alternate Jewish Reactions to Modernity
    • The History of the Ashkenazi in Eastern Europe
    • The History of the Sephardic Communities
    • Jewish Life in Western Europe
    • The New World Diaspora
    • Modern Jewish Religious Thought
    • The Impact of Secular Jews on ModernThought 
    • Jews and the Political Left
    • Modern AntiSemitism
    • The Shoah
    • Zionism
    • The State of Israel
    • Gender and Judaism
  • Further Resources on Jewish History

The People of Israel

Pre-Israelite Canaan/Palestine/Syria

The Bible as a Source

Ethnogenesis

Moses and Monotheism

Conquest of the Land (1250-1000 BCE?)

The National Monarchy (c.1020-586 BCE)

Mythological Foundations


The Emergence of Judaism

General

Jews and Judaism in the Land of Israel

The First Century CE Context

The Qumran Sect

Jews in the Diaspora

Diaspora Religious Developments

The Conflict with Rome

Triumph of Rabbinic Judaism

Modern Perspectives on Ancient Israel


The Jewish Middle Ages

General

Jewish Communities and Individuals in Islam

Jewish Communities and Individuals in Christendom

Jews and the State in Christendom

Jews and Economic Activity

Three facts predominate when considering the important role of Jews in the Medieval economy. In most places and times, medieval Jews were legally unable to participate in agriculture, the economic activity of the vast majority of both Christian and Muslim populations. There is a lot of evidence that scattered Jewish communities kept in contact with each other. Finally, although credit was essential to economic activity, lending money on interest (usury) was forbidden by Muslim and Christian law [although there were, in practice, many Christian money-lenders]. (Jewish law also forbids usury within the Jewish community, but permits loans to those outside).

The result of these situations was that Jewish economic activity had to focus on professional skills, trading, or credit provision.

Jewish Communities Outside Islam and Christendom

Jewish Cultures

Jewish Intellectual and Religious Life
  • Toledoth Yeshu A Sixth Century Jewish (negative) account of Jesus. [At UPenn]
    See also the Jewish Views of Jesus Homepage for more texts.
  • Sepher Yetzirah [or Sefer Yatzira], translated from the Hebrew by Wm. Wynn Westcott, [At Wolf's Den]
    The Sepher Yetzirah is one of the most famous of the ancient Qabalistic texts. It was first put into writing around 200 C.E. Westcott's Translation was first published in 1887
  • Judah Ha-Levi (ca 1075-1141): The Kuzari, also known as The Book of Argument and Proof in Defense of the Despised Faith (Kitab al Khazari).
    The entire first book of the Kuzari, a philosophical treatise written by the Spanish Jewish philosopher and poet, Judah Ha-Levi. It is written in the form of a dialogue, purportedly between the king of the Khazars and the representatives of various belief systems, culminating with a rabbi.
  • Maimonides: The Thirteen Principles of Judaism  [At this Site]
  • Maimonides: The 613 Mitzvot  [At this Site]
  • Maimonides: The Laws and Basic Principles of the Torah  [At this Site]
  • Maimonides: The Laws Concerning Mashiach [At this Site]
    Chapters 11 & 12 of Hilchos Melachim from the Mishneh Torah of the Rambam
  • Maimonides: Oath of Maimonides and in Spanish [At Internet Archive, from einstein.com.ar]
  • The Hypertext Halacha, [At Project Torah.org]
    A translation of the Shulchan Aruch and Mishna Berurah. An excellent source for the details of Jewish religious law.
Christian Anti-Semitism Early Modern Jewish Life
  • Jewish Life in Holland
    • Jewish Life in England
      • Image: Rodrigo Lopez 1594
        Lopez was a Portugese Marrano (a "hidden Jew"), who was Queen Elizabeth's physician. He was executed for working to poison her.
      • Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593): The Jew of Malta1589 [At Project Gutenberg]
        Not merely an anti-Semitic play, since it attacks Christian hypocrisy, but the Jewish villain would be seen by an audience without any actual Jews to counter the image.
      • William Shakespeare (1564-1616): The Merchant of Venice, first performed 1597?, [At Project Gutenberg]
        Surely the most famous of all early modern plays with Jewish characters. The question of whether the play is Antisemitic remains open for some commentators.
      • WEB Shakespeare and Antisemitism [At Geocities]
      • Image: Manasseh Ben Israel
        The man who negotiated with Oliver Cromwell for the return of Jews to England in 1655.
    • Jewish Life in South America

    Jewish Life Since the Enlightenment

    General

    • WEB Judaism in the Modern Age [At Calgary]
      Eliezer Segal's course page, with clear explanations of the variety of modern forms of Judaism.
    The Enlightenment and the Jews The Jewish Enlightenment [The Haskalah]
    • Moses Mendelsohn
    Alternate Jewish Reactions to Modernity The History of the Ashkenazi in Eastern Europe