Sephardi Religious Responses to Modernity (The Sherman Lecture Series, Vol. 1)

By Norman A. Stillman

Original 12 months of publication: 1995

Excerpt from the Introduction

Most reports of Jewish modernity have handled the responses of Western Jewry — essentially Ashkenazi Jewry — to the trendy situation. certainly, so much books of any variety at the Jews within the sleek global deal by and large with Ashkenazim. This publication is meant, like any of my stories, to right in a few degree this imbalance. it's approximately a number of the assorted responses of Sephardi and Oriental Jewry to modernity, particularly a few of their spiritual responses. The issues of comparability and distinction to the bigger and extra intensively tested Ashkenazi international are, i feel, no longer in simple terms fascinating, yet hugely instructive. For what they convey are diverse types of contemporary spiritual improvement due to assorted ancient reports. normally, Sephardi and Oriental Jewry made the transition into sleek occasions whereas holding its equilibrium way more extra effectively than had eu Jewish society upon its emergence from the ghetto, they usually have been higher capable of protect a few of their existential moorings. the whole modernizing strategy used to be total extra slow and no more worrying for jap Jews than it used to be for his or her Ashkenazi brethren or certainly for his or her Muslim associates. even if the Westernizing forces of modernity got here to the Sephardi and Oriental Jews essentially from with no, the spiritual evolution of those groups constructed from inside. Their coming to phrases with the trendy global didn't constantly result in a stark and invidious selection among conventional faith and growth as used to be the case for thus a lot of Ashkenazi Jewry.

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A. J. Arberry (Cambridge college Press: Cambridge, 1969), pp. 196–202; and Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands nowa days, pp. 10–11. forty three Mordekhai ha-Kohen, Higgid Mordecai: Histoire de l. a. Libye et de ses Juifs, lieux d’habitation et coutumes, ed. Harvey E. Goldberg (Institut Ben-Zvi: Jerusalem, 1978), p. 236 [Hebrew]. See additionally Yehuda Kahalon, “ha-Macavaq cal Demutah ha-Ruhanit shel ha-cEda ha-Yehudit be-Luv ba-Me’a ha-19 uva-cAsor ha-Rishon shel ha Me’a ha-cEsrim,” in Zakhor Le-Abraham: Mélanges Abraham Elmaleh à l’occasion du cinquième anniversaire de sa mort (21 Adar II 5727), ed. H. Z. Hirschberg (Comité de l. a. Communauté Marocaine: Jerusalem, 1972), pp. 85–86 and 92–94. forty four Ḥazzan, Tacalumot Lev, vol. 1 (Elijah Benamozegh: Livorno, 1879), pp. 14a-16b. (The citation is located on p. 15b). forty five Their letters are appended to his responsum, ibid. , pp. 17a-18a. The rabbis have been Abraham Ashkenazi, the Rishon le-Ṣiyyon in Palestine, Abraham Haggege and Abraham Boccara, the executive rabbis of the Twansa and the Grana groups of Tunis, and Abraham Palache, the ḥakham bashi of Izmir. forty six Yehuda Nini, Mi-Mizraḥ umi-Yam: Yehude Miṣrayim, Ḥayye Yom Yom ve-Hishtaqfutam be-Sifrut ha-Shut, 5642–5674 (Tel Aviv college: Tel: Aviv, 1979/80); Zvi Zohar, Halakha u-Modernizaṣiyya: Darkhe Hecanut Ḥakhme Ṃiṣrayim le-Etgare ha-Modernizaṣiyya, 1822–1882(Makhon Shalom Hartmann: Jerusalem, 1982). forty seven Shlomo Deshen, “Baghdad Jewry in overdue Ottomon instances: The Emergence of Social periods and of Secularization,” AJS overview 19:1 (1994), p. 38. forty eight Raphael Aaron Ben Simeon, Umi-Ṣur Devash (Samuel ha-Levi Zuckerman: Jerusalem, 1911/12), p. 111b. forty nine Raphael Aaron Ben Simeon, Nehar Miṣrayim (Farag Ḥayyim Mizraḥi: Alexandria, 1907/08), p. 100a; Elijah Ḥazzan, Tacalumot Lev, vol four (Farag Ḥayyim Mizraḥi: Alexandria, 1907), p. 45a; Peter L. Berger, Pyramids of Sacrifice (Basic Books: ny, 1976), p. 186. you will need to notice that for lots of Muslim writers within the 19th century, phrases like ḥuriyya (“liberty”) have been frequently perceived as that means “libertinism. ” The query of liberty as opposed to authority has been one of many principal problems with sleek social inspiration. As Eisenstadt has saw, “Modern social order was once conceived as one within which the scope of liberty was once always prolonged, therefore unavoidably growing the matter of upkeep of balance and order within the face of increasing parts of liberty. ” S. N. Eisenstadt, culture, swap, and Modernity (Robert E. Krieger Publishing: Malabar, Florida, 1983), p. four. 50 Ḅen Simeon, Nehar Miṣrayim, p. 118b. fifty one Ḥazzan, Tacalumot Lev, vol. three, p. 59a; Ben Simeon, Umi-ṣur Devash, p. 111a. fifty two referring to “Gentile practice,” see Meir Ydit, “Ḥukkat ha-Goi,” Encyclopaedia Judaica, vol. eight, cols. 1061–1062. fifty three Elijah “Ḥazzan, Tacalumot Lev, vol. three, pp. 58a-59a (the quotations are from p. 59a). fifty four The historical past to the ordinance, the criminal reasoning at the back of it, and the textual content of the taqqana (Ben Simeon calls it a haskama, “agreement”) itself are given in Raphael Aaron Ben Simeon, Umi-Ṣur Devash, 104b-113a; see additionally his Nehar Miṣrayim, vol.

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