Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory by Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi

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By Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi

"Mr. Yerushalmi's earlier writings . . . confirmed him as one of many Jewish community's most vital historians. His most up-to-date e-book may still identify him as one in all its most crucial critics. Zakhor is old contemplating a truly excessive order - mature hypothesis in keeping with sizeable scholarship." - big apple occasions e-book assessment

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Extra info for Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory

Sample text

44 A close look at two specific passages in the Mainz Anonymous serves to introduce the argument for early composition. An interesting digression during its portrait of the fate of Speyer Jewry provides two useful pieces of evidence with respect to the date of composition. While lauding Bishop John of Speyer for his energetic and effective protection of Speyer Jewry, our author praises Moses ha-parnas of Speyer for his role also: ‘‘R. Moses ben Yekutiel ha-parnas stood in the breach as well and dedicated himself to them [the Jews of Speyer].

On the scholarly agenda today are general questions as to the capacity of observers to provide ‘‘reliable’’ evidence for events perceived and the capacity of language to communicate ‘‘reliable’’ data for such events. The discussion of the facticity of the 1096 The Hebrew First Crusade Narratives 23 narratives has not been conducted on this highly philosophic plane. The questioning of the reliability of the data provided in the three narratives has been far more focused, more prosaic, and ultimately more useful.

The commitment to accurate portrayal of complex realities on the Christian side is paralleled by a similar commitment to nuanced depiction of diversified Jewish thinking and behavior. Time-bound concern with the variety of Jewish responses to the crisis of 1096 is both didactic and apologetic. 40 While the didactic objectives of the Mainz Anonymous are fairly obvious, the apologetic thrusts should not be ignored. Our narrator argues in effect that his fellow Jews were hardly obtuse in their failure to appreciate the depths of the danger confronting them.

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