Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 10

BookPolin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 10

Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 10

Jews in Early Modern Poland

Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, 10


November 1st, 1997

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Jewish society in Poland-Lithuania in the second half of the eighteenth century was by no means insular: Jews numbered about 750,000, and comprised about half the urban population of the country. The contact between Jews and the wider Polish society found expression in the languages Jews knew, in their marriage patterns, even in their synagogue architecture and decoration, but also in Polish accusations of Jewish ritual murder. All these aspects are here systematically reviewed. Internal factors influencing developments within Jewish society are discussed: treatments of the medieval rabbinic ban on polygamy, as well as various influences of the growing interest in kabbalah-its impact on synagogue structure, on prayer, and on the spiritual world of women. The growth of hasidism is considered through critical analysis of the legends about its founder, Israel Ba'al Shem Tov. This wealth of topics helps to fill the gaps in our understanding of Jewish life in this important period. The New Views section of the volume incorporates valuable studies on other topics. Articles include a revisionist view of the beginnings of Polish Jewry, based on analysis of medieval manuscripts; a thought-provoking review of the depiction of Polish-Jewish relations in recent Polish cinema; a study of the NKVD's treatment of Henryk Erlich and Wiktor Alter; and an erudite study of mayufes as a window on Polish-Jewish relations. The Book Reviews section includes a debate between Tomasz Gasowski and Artur Eisenbach on the latter's book on Jewish emancipation in Poland; review essays of books on Auschwitz and on I. B. Singer; and twenty-seven individual book reviews, followed by a bibliography of Polish-Jewish studies for 1994. The contemporary state of Polish-Jewish relations is covered, along with additional aspects of Jewish life in today's Poland, in an article by Poland's Ambassador to the Jewish Diaspora, Krzysztof Sliwinski. CONTRIBUTORS: Paul Coates, Artur Eisenbach, Tomasz Gasowski, Jacob Goldberg, Zenon Guldon, Thomas C. Hubka, Gertrud Pickhan, Elchanan Reiner, Moshe Rosman, Chone Shmeruk, Krzysztof Sliwinski, Daniel Stone, Israel M. Ta-Shma, Nechama Tec, Chava Weissler, Elimelech Westreich, Jacek Wijacka.

Author Information

Gershon Hundert is Professor of History and holds the Montreal Jewish Community Chair in Jewish Studies at McGill University.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Half Title2
Title Page4
Editors and Advisers7
Towards a Polish—Jewish Dialogue: The Way Forward18
Note on Transliteration, Names, and Place–Names28
List of Figures29
List of Abbreviations30
Part I: Jews in Early Modern Poland36
Jewish Marriage in Eighteenth–Century Poland38
‘For the Human Soul is the Lamp of the Lord’: The Tkhine for ‘Laying Wicks’ by Sarah bas Tovim75
The Ban on Polygamy in Polish Rabbinic Thought101
The Ashkenazi Élite at the Beginning of the Modern Era: Manuscript versus Printed Book120
The Accusation of Ritual Murder in Poland, 1500—1800134
Jewish Art and Architecture in the East European Context: The Gwoździec–Chodorów Group of Wooden Synagogues176
In Praise of the Ba’al Shem Tov: A User’s Guide to the Editions of Shivhei ha Besht218
Knowledge of Foreign Languages among Eighteenth–Century Polish Jews235
Part II: New Views254
Walls and Frontiers: Polish Cinema’s Portrayal of Polish—Jewish Relations256
‘That Incredible History of the Polish Bund Written in a Soviet Prison’: The NKVD Files on Henryk Erlich and Wiktor Alter282
Mayufes: A Window on Polish—Jewish Relations308
On the History of the Jews in Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Poland322
Part III: Reviews354
Review Essays356
On Eisenbach on Emancipation356
A Reply to Tomasz Gąsowski361
Two Books on Isaac Bashevis Singer368
On Auschwitz374
Book Reviews379
Israel Bartal, Rachel Elior, and Chone Shmeruk (eds.), Tsadikim ve’anshei ma’aseh: Mehkarim behasidut Polin379
S. Bronsztejn, Z dziejów ludności żydowskiej na Dolnym Śląsku po II wojnie światowej382
Abraham David (ed.), A Hebrew Chronicle from Prague, c.1615385
Norman Davies and Antony Polonsky (eds.), Jews in Eastern Poland and the USSR, 1939–1946386
Artur Eisenbach, The Emancipation of the Jews in Poland, 1780—1870388
Barbara Engelking, Na lące popiołów: Ocaleni z Holocaustu390
Barbara Engelking, Zaglada i pamięć393
Peter Faessler, Thomas Held, and Dirk Sawitzki (eds.), Lemberg—Lwow—Lviv: Eine Stadt im Schnittpunkt europäischer Kulturen395
Darrel J. Fasching, The Ethical Challenge of Auschwitz and Hiroshima: Apocalypse or Utopia?397
P. Fijalkowski (ed.), Dzieje Żydów w Polsce: Wybór tekstów źródlowych XI—XVIII wieku399
David E. Fishman, Russia’s First Modern Jews: The Jews of Shklov402
Joseph Held (ed.), The Columbia History of Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century404
Edward H. Judge, Easter in Kishinev: Anatomy of a Pogrom405
Edward Kossoy and Abraham Ohry, The Feldshers: Medical, Sociological, and Historical Aspects of Practitioners of Medicine with below University Level Education407
Mark Levene, War, Jews, and the New Europe: The Diplomacy of Lucien Wolf, 1914—1919409
Steven M. Lowenstein, The Berlin Jewish Community: Enlightenment, Family and Crisis, 1770—1830412
Paul Robert Magocsi, Historical Atlas of East Central Europe414
Jerzy Michalski (ed.), Lud żydowski w narodzie polskim: Materiały sesji naukowej w Warszawie, 15—16 Wrzesien 1992416
Clare Moore (ed.), The Visual Dimension: Aspects of Jewish Art418
Gedalyah Nigal, Magic, Mysticism, and Hasidism421
Magdalena Opalski and Israel Bartal, Poles and Jews: A Failed Brotherhood423
Eugenia Prokóp–Janiec, Międzywojenna literatura polsko-żydowska jako zjawisko kulturowe i artystyczne426
Joel Raba, Bein zikaron lehakhehashah: Gezerot tah vetat bereshimot benei hazeman ubere’i haketivah hahistorit431
Marek Rostworowski (ed.), Żydzi w Polsce: Obraz i slowo433
Jean W. Sedlar, East Central Europe in the Middle Ages, 1000—1500437
Jerzy Topolski, Polska w czasach nowożytnych: Od środkowoeuropejskiej potęgi do utraty niepodleglości, 1501—1795440
Lawrence Weinbaum, A Marriage of Convenience: The New Zionist Organization and the Polish Government443
E. Thomas Wood and Stanislaw M. Jankowski, Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust446
Steven J. Zipperstein, Elusive Prophet: Ahad Ha’am and the Origins of Zionism447
Bibliography of Polish—Jewish Studies 1994450
Notes on the Contributors470