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German Jewry and the Allure of the Sephardic

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In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as German Jews struggled for legal emancipation and social acceptance, they also emba... Weiterlesen
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Beschreibung

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as German Jews struggled for legal emancipation and social acceptance, they also embarked on a program of cultural renewal, two key dimensions of which were distancing themselves from their fellow Ashkenazim in Poland and giving a special place to the Sephardim of medieval Spain. Where they saw Ashkenazic Jewry as insular and backward, a result of Christian persecution, they depicted the Sephardim as worldly, morally and intellectually superior, and beautiful, products of the tolerant Muslim environment in which they lived. In this elegantly written book, John Efron looks in depth at the special allure Sephardic aesthetics held for German Jewry.

Efron examines how German Jews idealized the sound of Sephardic Hebrew and the Sephardim's physical and moral beauty, and shows how the allure of the Sephardic found expression in neo-Moorish synagogue architecture, historical novels, and romanticized depictions of Sephardic history. He argues that the shapers of German-Jewish culture imagined medieval Iberian Jewry as an exemplary Jewish community, bound by tradition yet fully at home in the dominant culture of Muslim Spain. Efron argues that the myth of Sephardic superiority was actually an expression of withering self-critique by German Jews who, by seeking to transform Ashkenazic culture and win the acceptance of German society, hoped to enter their own golden age.

Stimulating and provocative, this book demonstrates how the goal of this aesthetic self-refashioning was not assimilation but rather the creation of a new form of German-Jewish identity inspired by Sephardic beauty.



Autorentext

John M. Efron



Inhalt

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1
Chapter One. The Sound of Jewish Modernity: Sephardic Hebrew and the Berlin Haskalah 21
Chapter Two. "Castilian Pride and Oriental Dignity": Sephardic Beauty in the Eye of the Ashkenazic Beholder 53
Chapter Three. Of Minarets and Menorahs: The Building of Oriental Synagogues 112
Chapter Four. Pleasure Reading: Sephardic Jews and the German-Jewish Literary Imagination 161
Chapter Five. Writing Jewish History: The Construction of a Glorious Sephardic Past 190
Epilogue 231
Notes 239
Bibliography 291
Index 321

Produktinformationen

Titel: German Jewry and the Allure of the Sephardic
Autor:
EAN: 9781400874194
ISBN: 978-1-4008-7419-4
Digitaler Kopierschutz: Adobe-DRM
Format: E-Book (pdf)
Herausgeber: Princeton University Press
Genre: Diverses
Anzahl Seiten: 352
Veröffentlichung: 01.12.2015
Jahr: 2015
Untertitel: Englisch