2 Forced conversion during the First Crusade Apostasy and Jewish identity Forced conversion during the First Crusade T he tendency that emerges from Rashi’s words reflects a decisive leadership approach, establishing a clear direction of attempting to return converts to Christianity to Judaism. The self-definition of Judaism its leaders sought to establish was that of a religion that felt confident in its ability to deal with Christian theological claims and in its political ability to deal with the threat of forced conversion. This situation changed during

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
‘Are you still my brother?’

In this study, the various aspects of the way the Jews regarded themselves in the context of the lapse into another religion will be researched fully for the first time. We will attempt to understand whether they regarded the issue of conversion with self-confidence or with suspicion, whether their attitude was based on a clear theological position or on doubt and the coping with the problem as part of the process of socialization will be fully analysed. In this way, we will better understand how the Jews saw their own identity whilst living as a minority among the Christian majority, whose own self-confidence was constantly becoming stronger from the 10th to the 14th century until they eventually ousted the Jews completely from the places they lived in, England, France and large parts of Germany. This aspect of Jewish self-identification, written by a person who converted to Christianity, can help clarify a number of

conversion to Christianity arising, not from the violent struggle of the Christians against Judaism but rather from their ability to persuade and to convince. The success of Christianity led to the phenomenon of Jews who converted to Christianity of their own free will, of a type whom the Jews could no longer label as ‘forced converts.’ During the course of the twelfth century we find evidence of such converts to Christianity in the Jewish sources. One such example appears in an inquiry addressed to Rabbi Ya’akov ben Meir, Rabbenu Tam (ca. 1100–71, Ramerupt, northern

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe

This book provides a detailed consideration of the history of racing in British culture and society, and explores the cultural world of racing during the interwar years. The book shows how racing gave pleasure even to the supposedly respectable middle classes and gave some working-class groups hope and consolation during economically difficult times. Regular attendance and increased spending on betting were found across class and generation, and women too were keen participants. Enjoyed by the royal family and controlled by the Jockey Club and National Hunt Committee, racing's visible emphasis on rank and status helped defend hierarchy and gentlemanly amateurism, and provided support for more conservative British attitudes. The mass media provided a cumulative cultural validation of racing, helping define national and regional identity, and encouraging the affluent consumption of sporting experience and a frank enjoyment of betting. The broader cultural approach of the first half of the book is followed by an exploration if the internal culture of racing itself.

Harold Moody and the League of Coloured Peoples

struggle in confronting British racism. Moody’s Christian faith The most decisive influence in Moody’s life was his conversion to Christianity as a teenager in the late 1890s. Thereafter reading the Bible, prayer and the practice of a Christian life underpinned his life. He did little that was not accompanied by lengthy prayer and this often gave him a

in West Indian intellectuals in Britain

work honestly and fitly for their appointed vocations’. The result was a gradual conversion of ‘young savages into respectable men and women’. 84 Such reforms could with benefit be introduced in India, although, she added, the lot of a class even lower than these – the roving street Arabs – will continue to exercise the ‘best and deepest thinkers, and students of political economy’. 85 So too will

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The literature of pietists (Ashkenazic hasidim)

Hasidism, together with the construction of its self-consciousness and identity, is seen as the opposite to that of the apostates. The world is divided into three types of people: ‘the ordinary person,’ ‘the wicked one,’ and ‘the pietist.’ The hasid is a person capable of confronting tests and standing up to them; hence, he also withstands the temptation involved in conversion to Christianity. The ‘ordinary person’ may be tempted, and one may assume that he will not withstand the trial. It is for his sake that one needs to prepare means of atonement and return to Judaism

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
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The change in mentality

that involved in conversion from one religion to another. For the Jewish group that lived within a Christian society that emphasized its religious superiority, its physical and theological victory, and its perception that, whatever might happen, in the final analysis the Jews would indeed accept the Christian truth, the conversion of an isolated individual was perceived as a theological disaster, an affront to morale and hope, and a constant threat. With regard to mentality, the terminology used is of very great importance, as it influences both the popular

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joined the Jewish religion change in a similar manner?1 As soon as the proselyte joins the Jewish group, the halakhic definition found in b. Yevamot 22a applies to him: ‘A proselyte who converted is like a newborn infant.’2 The proselyte is thus born anew, and all his previous family connections are completely nullified. This perception of religious Goldin, Apostasy and Jewish identity.indd 100 20/08/2014 12:34:46 Converts to Judaism 101 conversion as an act of death and rebirth is known in many other societies.3 Therefore (at least in theory), a father and

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present study, we shall examine various aspects of Jewish self-understanding in the context of conversion to another religion—whether it is one of self-confidence or suspicion, of a clear theological position or doubt—as well as confrontation with the problem during the course of the process of socialization. In that way, we can better understand the self-definition of those Jews living as a minority within a Christian majority, whose self-confidence grew steadily between the tenth and the fourteenth century, until this world rejected the Jews completely and expelled

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe