Authors & Events
Mar 02, 2010
| ISBN 9781844674046
Buy from Other Retailers:
Mar 02, 2010 | ISBN 9781844674046
Reaching from biblical times to the present day, Esther Benbassa’s prize-winning exploration of Jewish identity is both epic and comprehensive. She shows how in the Jewish world, the representation and ritualization of suffering have shaped the history of both the people and the religion.Benbassa argues that the nineteenth century gave rise to a Jewish ‘lachrymose’ historiography, and that Jewish history was increasingly seen to be a ‘vale of tears’—a development that has become even more pronounced since the Holocaust. The treatment of the Holocaust in the State of Israel now has the form of a civil religion. In principle within reach of everyone, the ‘duty of memory’ and the uniqueness of the genocide have mitigated for many Jews the loss of other traditions. The Israeli government invokes the memory of the Holocaust to neutralize threats to its interests—ensuring that suffering continues to be a central part of Jewish identity and positioning the State of Israeli as a redemptive force.
“… Invaluable for both its political deconstruction of victimhood and its recollection of the lesser-known, non-lachrymose history of the Jews.”—Jewish Quarterly
Visit other sites in the Penguin Random House Network
Stay in Touch
Start earning points for buying books! Just for joining you’ll get personalized recommendations on your dashboard daily and features only for members.