Littman Library of Jewish Civilization

Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, Volume 15

Jewish Religious Life, 1500-1900
Edited by Antony Polonsky

Core articles investigate some important issues associated with the diverse ways in which Jewish spirituality and religious life developed in Poland from 1550 to 1900. The emerging generation of Jewish studies specialists from Poland and Germany is particularly well represented in this volume, a collection of articles that shows vividly how academic scholarship can provide important new insights into Jewish religious history.

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This volume highlights new research on Jewish spiritual and religious life in Poland before modern political ideas, above all nationalism and socialism, began to transform the Jewish world. The collection as a whole represents a welcome new trend towards a more rigorous approach to the study of Jewish religious life and writings and covers a range of topics. Three articles deal with rabbinic writing and publishing in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and a fourth presents accounts of Purim festivities at that time. The eighteenth-century studies focus on popular Jewish spirituality and Polish attitudes to Jewish spirituality. Four articles deal with the Frankist movement, the main topics being Frankist propaganda; non-Christian Frankists; Jonathan Eibeschuetz and the Frankists; and the influence of Frankism on Polish culture. There are four articles on hasidism—on the tsadik and the ba’al shem; the childhood of tsadikim in hasidic legends; the fall of the Seer of Lublin; and the hasidism of Gur—and one about influences on Nahman Krochmal.

Four of the contributors to the core section on Jewish spiritual and religious life are Polish, representatives of a new generation of Judaic scholars there. Three are working in Germany, where Jewish studies is likewise re-establishing itself. Other contributors are leading scholars from universities in Canada, Israel, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Some are themselves religious, others are secular; taken together, their contributions further the study of Jewish religious traditions on the Polish lands, a topic central to an understanding of Jewish society and history in Poland but one which has long been considered marginal by the academic world.

As in earlier volumes of Polin, substantial space is given to new research in other areas of Polish–Jewish studies. There is an extensive survey of the papal Holocaust papers, as well as contributions relating to education for girls, to Auschwitz as a site of memories, and to aspects of Jewish literature, politics, society, and economics. A young Polish scholar from Jedwabne has contributed a moving article on local reactions to news of the massacre of the Jews of that town. The review section include two separate essays with contrasting opinions on Yaffa Eliach's monumental study of Eishyshok.

 

About the editor

Antony Polonsky is the first holder of the Albert Abramson Chair of Holocaust Studies, a joint appointment held in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.

Contributors
Eliyana R. Adler, Department of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies, Brandeis University
David Assaf, Professor of Jewish History, Tel Aviv University; Director, Center for
Research on the History of Polish Jewry, Tel Aviv University
Veronica Belling, Jewish Studies Librarian, University of Cape Town
Daniel Blatman, Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Joanna Rostropowicz Clark, Rutgers University
Jan Doktór, Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw
Michal Galas, Department of Jewish Studies, Jagiellonian University, Kraków
Susanne Galley, University of Potsdam
Roland Goetschel, Professor Emeritus of Hebraic Language & Civilization, Sorbonne;
Associate Professor, Free University of Brussels
Karl E. Grözinger, Professor of Religion & Jewish Studies, University of Potsdam
Gershon David Hundert, Chair, Department of Jewish Studies, and Professor of History,
McGill University, Montreal
Yoram Jacobson, Head of Kabbalistic & Hasidic Studies, Department of Jewish
Philosophy, Tel Aviv University
Judith Kalik, Department of Russian & Slavonic Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Slawomir Kapralski, Professor of Sociology, Central European University, Warsaw
Adam Kazmierczyk, Assistant Professor, Department of Jewish Studies, Jagiellonian
University, Kraków
Marta Kurkowska-Budzan, Jagiellonian University, Kraków
Sid Z. Leiman, Professor of Jewish History & Literature, Brooklyn College, City University
of New York; Visiting Professor, Bernard Revel Graduate School, Yeshiva University
Harris Lenowitz, Professor of Hebrew, University of Utah
Sarunas Liekis, Executive Director, Open Society Foundation, Vilnius
Krzysztof Pilarczyk, Associate Professor, Center for the History & Culture of the Jews in
Poland, Jagiellonian University, Kraków
Eugenia Prokop-Janiec, Jagiellonian University, Kraków
John Radzilowski, Center for Nations in Transition, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of
Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
Szymon Rudnicki, Professor of History, University of Warsaw
Margarete Schlüter, Professor of Jewish Studies, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University,
Frankfurt-am-Main
Stefan Schreiner, Professor of Jewish History, Institutum Judaicum, University of
Tübingen
Jerzy Tomaszewski, Professor, Historical Institute, and Head, Mordekhai Anieliewicz
Research Center on the History of the Jews in Poland, University of Warsaw
Scott Ury, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hanna Wegrzynek, Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw
Robert S. Wistrich, Erich & Foga Neuberger Professor of Modern Jewish History,
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

 

Publication details

Format 23.5 x 15.5 cm / 6" x 9"
Pages 574 pages, 13 text figures
ISBN 978-1-874774-71-6 hardback - out of print
978-1-874774-72-3 paperback
Price £24.95 / $39.95
Date of publication 2002

Contents

A Note on Place Names
Note on Transliteration

Part 1 Jewish Religious Life, 1500-1900

Introduction
ANTONY POLONSKY
Printing the Talmud in Poland in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
KRZYSZTOF PILARCZYK
Isaac of Troki’s Studies of Rabbinic Literature
STEFAN SCHREINER
Polish Attitudes towards Jewish Spirituality in the Eighteenth Century
JUDITH KALIK
Sixteenth-Century Accounts of Purim Festivities
HANNA WEGRZYNEK
Jewish Popular Spirituality in the Eighteenth Century
GERSHON DAVID HUNDERT
The Struggle over Images in the Propaganda of the Frankist Movement
HARRIS LENOWITZ
The Non-Christian Frankists
JAN DOKTÓR
Rabbi Jonathan Eibeschuetz’s Attitude towards the Frankists
SID Z. LEIMAN
The Influence of Frankism on Polish Culture.
MICHAL GALAS
Tsadik and Ba’al Shem in East European Hasidism
KARL E. GRÖTZINGER
Holy Men in their Infancy: The Childhood of Tsadikim in Hasidic Legends
SUSANNE GALLEY
One Event, Two Interpretations: The Fall of the Seer of Lublin in Hasidic Memory and Maskilic Satire
DAVID ASSAF
How Far was Krochmal Influenced by the Gaon Sherira ben Hanina in his Description of the Development of Oral Torah?
MARGARETE SHLÜTER
The Messiah Son of Joseph according to Rabbi Zaddok Hacohen
ROLAND GOETSCHEL
Primordial Chaos and Creation in Gur Hasidism: The Sabbath that Preceded Creation
YORAM JACOBSON

Part 2 New Views

'Ahavat yehonatan’, A Poem by Judah Leo Landau
VERONICA BELLING
Jakub Becal, King Jan III Sobieski’s Jewish Factor
ADAM KAZMIERCZYK
The Shtadlan of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth: Noble Advocate or Unbridled Opportunist?
SCOTT URY
Educational Options for Jewish Girls in Nineteenth-Century Europe
ELIYANA R. ADLER
The Society for the Advancement of Trade, Industry, and Crafts
SZYMON RUDNICKI
Strangers in their Own Land: Polish Jews from Lublin to Kielce
DANIEL BLATMAN
Jewish Writers in Polish Literature
EUGENIA PROKOP-JANIEC
Auschwitz: Site of Memories
SLAWOMIR KAPRALSKI
My Jebwabne
MARTA KURKOWSKA-BUDZAN

Part 3

Papal Holocaust Papers (provisional title) ROBERT S. WISTRICH

Part 4 Review Essays

Report of the Vatican Documents on the Second World War
The Vatican Documents and the Holocaust: A Personal Report
ROBERT S. WISTRICH
Yaffa Eliach’s Eishyshok: Two Views
i ‘The new Jew Hitler has fashioned into being’
SARUNAS LEIKIS
ii Ejszyszki Revisited, 1939-1945
JOHN RADZILOWSKI
Holocaust Survivors in Jadwiga Maurer’s Short Stories
JOANNA ROSTROPOWICZ CLARK
Polish Translations of Yiddish Literature published in Wroclaw
JERZY TOMASZEWSKI

REVIEWS

Part 4 Appreciations and Obituaries

Chone Shmeruk: The Man and his Work
ISRAEL BARTAL
The Scholarly Activities of Chone Shmeruk in Poland
JÓZEF A. GIEROWSKI
Jan Karski (1914-2000)
STANISLAUS A. BLEJWAS
Moshe Mishkinsky (1917-1998)
JOSHUA D. ZIMMERMAN

Notes on Contributors and Translators
Glossary
Index

 

Reviews

'This scholarly, well-researched, and interesting collection of essays from a host of international scholars offers . . . insightful analysis on a wide variety of topics from multiple viewpoints.'
David B. Levy, AJL Newsletter

'An important collection of articles both for student interested in the history of the Jews in Poland and for scholars who are interested in following the central developments in this area.'
Rachel Manekin, Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung