Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi: Historian of German Jewry
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This article draws attention to a rarely considered dimension of Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi’s scholarship and teaching, namely, his engagement with the history of German Jewry. It examines the manner in which Yerushalmi approached this subject—generally through the twin poles of antisemitism and Wissenschaft des Judentums—and suggests that analyzing it with reference to the Arendtian categories of “pariah” and “parvenu” provides us with a key to unlocking some of the motivations that drove Yerushalmi’s particular interests. The article concludes with some speculation as to why, by contrast, Yerushalmi seemed to avoid the history of Eastern European Jewry, in spite of his oft-repeated pride in and intimacy with his own personal heritage.
KeywordsAntisemitism German Jewry Moses and Monotheism Psychoanalysis Wissenschaft des Judentums
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