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A must study books for Polish-Jewish relations.

marian baginski|Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The essence of the anti-Semitism in answer to Fr. Szczerbinski’s article “Anti-Semitism in Poland from non-Jewish prospective* ( There are innumerable writing on the subject).

                                    PART 1
Must study for Polish-Jewish relations. Essencial Jewish books POLISH ANTI-SEMITISM: THE UNTOLD STORIES:Was there a dialectic consisting of the Polish villain and the Jewish victim? Hardly(See REVIEWS).         For unfamiliar readers about so called “anti-Semitism”, this article would be an introduction.       The essence of the anti-Semitism in answer to Fr. Szczerbinski’s article “Anti-Semitism in Poland from non-Jewish prospective* ( There are innumerable writing on the subject).   As shown in the  fallowed article,  for somebody, who wanted to study Polish- Jewish relations this is a short and pragmatically  essential Jewish literature treated about the interested subject.  The author of this article is an expert in Jewish-Polish relations, and is very knowledgably familiar in the Judaist thoughts and the Judaism in particular. His voice could be considered an official stance of Catholic milieu in the scientific exchange and the   conversation between Jews and Poles... He is also a Head of the Institute of the Jewish Cultural Institution, as well as part of the Christian dialogue between Judaism and Christianity in particular Catholicism.         In the title he admits existence of anti-Semitism in Poland, providing the different meanings of the term as well as stating that “any attempt at subsuming (anti-Jewisness, anti-Judaism, anti-Zionism-M.B.) under the term anti-Semitism” is unfounded and unjustifiable” (p.149). Father Szczerbinski started his consideration from an epistemological point of view by defining alienation as:   “isolation from the rest of the community (ibidem), or question of brotherhood as “not unequivocal”. In that perspective, he attempted to find some ultimate causes for Poles’ behavior against Jews.       The several reasons he considers are:
a) being strange or alien (p.150) to the rest of the society they Are living in,
b) stereotypes (e.g. Jew-backed communism and Polish national anti-Semitism, p. 158?) and ambiguous attitudes of nations towards the Jews living in Diaspora (common interests of Jews and, fear and aversion against the others) with prejudices and ,one-sidedness (p.151),
c) reflection  on past events,
d) financial, economic, political, social, moral, national, and religious factors: Jewish competition, their social status, life style, different attire, different habits,  different language and culture,
e) Jewish identity reflected by saying:”one-because I’m Jew and “other” because I’m gentile” ( p. 152),
g) Jews considered as frequent champions and advocates of communism (p153) and Jewish- Soviet collaboration,
h), denial of “any redeeming value to Judaism since synod in Yawne in 90” A.D. (When Jews and Christians went separate ways),
k) superiority of Judaism over Christianity and vice versa,
l) Zionism and anti-Zionism-Jewish attitudes about existence of the State of Israel.
  It seems that Szczerbinski’s most interesting statement is”: It’s not opportunistic to say that every   one of these phenomenon have an implicit or explicit moral dimension.  According to Fr. Szczerbinski, the problem, however, does not concern semantics but the essence of the phenomenon” (p.157) and following Father Chrostowski’s arguments he said that for Jews this is the best formula in semantics, because they“, (Jews-M.B.) got used to it”, “it allows (Jews-M.B.) persisting with their long-lasting convictions”,    and when most of the people had been complaining that researchers in anti-Semitism “are almost exclusively ethnic Jews ”is in the Jewish favor”. At the end of the article Father Szczerbinski states that an undeniable right is: “to exist and develop in accordance with their own identity... Coexistence may appear as condemnation to some and destiny for others… This cannot occur at the expense of losing one’s own identity… tolerance is not a call for non-Jew for a complete acceptance or rejection of everything that is Jewish. The art of living entails a skillful oscillation between alienation and acceptance. This polarity is a measure of humanity in our mutual relations” (p.158).  The question was posed by Father Szczerbinski, but no any satisfied answer about the essence, when he considered the topic in the title of the article considered.    Essence of the phenomenon. “This problem, however, does not concern semantics but the essence of the phenomenon”, as Szczerbinski stated. What is it? It seems that Father Szczerbinski, by enumerating the causes and phenomena of the question, he attempted to show he mixed-up the essence of the question and its appearances, symptoms, causes and effects of the complicated phenomenon, without any direct reference to the existing persistent moral questions. Alienation and identity show certain attitude, which are attributed to the moral behavior. As Ludwig Hirschfeld stated;” The biggest Jewish tragedy is not the fact that anti-Semite hates the Jews, but that benign and good people say:” Honest man, despite that he is a Jew”.  By this statement Mr. Hirshfeld extrapolated -according to my opinion- the essence of the anti- Jewisness (according to some anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, Anti-Israelis etc.) which is the moral attitude of Jews ? toward each other,  and toward  other humans and world affairs.2.  Mr. Itzak  Dickman (Tadeusz Mazowiecki) tried to pay attention to that question in his article in  1962 in “Wiez”1... He wrote about sociological phenomenon of groups’ relations in  terms of “superiority- inferiority” being the essential attribute of Jewish moral attitude in the social lives’ fabric and person-to-person relations.   For our purpose the moral attitude is defined in the terms of being productive in the course of the productive life, or parasite in the societal life according to the social institutional moral imperatives.  And Jews were to be considered in those terms, as well according to their own moral imperatives found in the Jewish Decalogue and Talmud. These types of  norms are  supposed to be strange to the value systems presented in utilitarian ethics , but corrected in the Christian ethics , when  the social person is productive in the certain period of his life,  is then entitled to the social benefits in his  later  life’s stages when he is unable to work. Coming from the prospective of the former , some governments tried to blame the “unproductive “(some called it parasite)  including Jews for social problems, in order to cover its own incompetence, or to blame somebody else for governmental mistakes.  The  topics of the  social integration to the named nation ( patria) , and the  alienation, assimilation,  integration,  Jewish “otherness” had its sources in the  Jewish cultural value systems , when  according to the former  assimilation is a  flaw  for somebody’s ”Jewisness” and  considered to be  inferior in the Jewish value systems.  In the  terms of national integration  this is a more complex topic  that usually is imagined, in particular in the Jewish mentality in Poland, when Jewish collaboration in order to survive (in Jewish terms this same behavior was considered appropriate) in the short term, but it was considered as treason by Polish governmental establishment or the general public. Such moral attitude showed a disintegrating role of that function, and it was- or is considered creation of  artificial obstacles to enrich to survive and develop such a particular nation and its citizens. In this sense Jews had been neglected with   full knowledge of the elementary moral principles in the host countries. In particular, Jewish involvement in the economic solidarity competition had been shown, that in Jewish terms it meant elimination of competitors, who usually were Gentiles considered as subhuman and judged according to the Jewish maxim:”You don’t allow to the Jew to live, when you take part of his business and give to somebody else”.  Jewish involvement in the usury,  arenda (yearly lease of the land property to Jews. They could get as much money as possible from leases  and Jews paid to the leasers minimum agreed), slavery commerce, money laundering, financial governmental consulting activities and  banking system ownership are considered in the moral terms  not only as an economical endeavor,  but  from the Jewish side,  gentiles were considered  by Jews differently than ethnic   Jews. The tendencies to create monopolies in political, scientifically researched topics, banking, economical, social, governmental enterprises are considered being of a Jewish origin, and they had a moral attribute considered to be created by the Jews, so as to be responsible for it.  This way of thinking is attributed to “good, benign and honest people”, who had been considered by Jews as gentiles.  They had been called in common language as the average members of the different communities’ (benign, honest and good people), “patria” (particular country) members included . So, at the end this anti- Semitism (Judaism, Israeli) is a moral problem created by Jews themselves and the goal for everybody is the fight about the dignity and morality of the person as such, with his plurality  needs, rights, and obligations without adding the nationality,   or ethnic attribute like Jew, Pole , other ethnicity, or nationality for that matter. In the end the dignity of all people (See more about Jewish distinction between Jew and Gentile, moral imperatives proposed in Talmud, religious concept of the Sacred Convent) should be equal. The morals of the Jewish tribe, Israeli nation, other Jewish influenced entities, Proselytes’( in particular: converted Jews with their Post-Jewish  mentalities  transplanted into gentiles ‘moral and cultural  behavior ,converted, assimilated Jews. Their influence decision making process into the socio-economical affairs became essential to consider the phenomenon of anti- Jewisness, or other terms used by Father Szczerbinski to that regard when  describing anti-Jewish attitudes.   *Studia Gnesnensia tom XXVI(2012) p.149-159 1. The Conference taken place in Warsaw 04.08.1960 2.  Ludwig Hirschfeld , Story of   One Life, Boston 2010 Father Waldemar Szczerbinski- an expert in the field proposed some very interesting point of view in topic considered loosely as “anti-Semitism”. He had been discussed the phenomenon of so called anti-Semitism from non- Jewish prospective.  According to this author, Father Szczerbinski did not continue his thoughts, when enumerating only the phenomenon and apparent causes of the anti-Semitism. He stopped short to go to the essence of the problem. This author wanted to follow thru and attempted to let the reader to the core of the problem, without any outside influence.  The topics about Jewish identities are very helpful to consider when arguing about alleged and unfounded accusation for anti-Semitism, as Father Szczrbinski mentioned in his other writings.  This author agrees with him completely.   Marian Baginski Ph.D.Author Jedwabne Massacre (in English), Patria Publishers 2014                                                PART 1 POLISH ANTI-SEMITISM: THE UNTOLD STORY
Was there a dialectic consisting of the Polish villain and the Jewish victim? Hardly. As shown in the article above.  After the Partitions of Poland, which erased Poland off Europe's map (1795-1918), most local Jews sided with Poland's foreign rulers during Polish battles for independence:

History of the Jews in Russia and Poland: From the Earliest Times Until the Present Day A Detailed History of Poland's Jews, the Partitions, and the Russian Century Afterward  REVIEW byJan Peczkis on May 18, 2012Format: Paperback The vast majority of "Russian" Jews were Polish Jews living in tsarist Russian-occupied Polish territories. (Review based on original edition). Owing to the fact that these three volumes were originally written just before Poland's acquisition of independence (1918), they were not influenced by this event.
The first volume begins with the Jews of pre-Partition Poland. Boleslaw the Pious, in 1264, codified the rights of Jews. Based on papal bulls (e. g., Innocent IV in 1247; V1, p. 179), the blood libel was repudiated as groundless, and a Jew could not be convicted of this offense unless supported by three Polish and three Jewish witnesses. (V1, p. 47). Later, Sigismund Augustus (1564, 1566), enacted a similar policy. (V1, p. 88). In addition, Casimir the Great (V1, pp. 50-on) and John III Sobieski (V1, p. 165) were notably friendly towards Jews.
Author Dubnow, evidently forgetting that alliances are the prerogative of nations, and not of minority groups domiciled as a favor of the majority, equated the Jews' siding with the invading Swedes (1655-1658) and the Polish-Swedish alliance against Russia. As the Swedes were being driven out, Poles retaliated for Jewish disloyalty by conducting pogroms. (V1, pp. 155-156).
Ironically, the decay of Polish society before the Partitions was paralleled by that in Poland's Jewish society: "The Jewish plutocracy followed the example of the Polish PANS in exploiting the poor laboring masses. The rabbinate, like the Polish clergy, catered to the rich. The secular and the ecclesiastic oligarchy, which controlled the Kahal, victimized the community by a shockingly disproportionate assessment of state and communal taxes..." (V1, pp. 274-275).
During the last Partition, the military actions of Berek Yoselovich [Joselowicz] provided a shining instance of Jewish support for Poland. (V1, pp. 291-296). However, in the later Duchy of Warsaw, "With few exceptions, the Jews preferred to pay an additional tax rather than spill their blood for a country which offered them obligations without rights. The decree of January 29, 1812, legalized this substitution of personal military service by a monetary ransom..." (V1, p. 304). [In actuality, Jews had more rights than peasants, that is, most Poles!]
In the War of 1812, the Poles sided with Napoleon in hopes of regaining independence, and the Jews collaborated with Russia, incurring Polish anger. (V1, pp. 357-358). Tsar Nicholas I, notwithstanding his disdain for the Jews, praised them for the fact that, "...in 1812 they displayed exemplary loyalty to us and assisted us wherever they could at the risk of their lives." (V2, p. 14).
Russian authorities saw Jews as ruled by the Talmud, which made Jews look down upon goys, and to think of all nations except Palestine as places of sojourn in captivity. Jews put self-rule (Kahals) over the authority of the government. (V2, p. 47). At the beginning of the 19th century, Lubenski, a leading Warsaw Pole, alluded to the fact that assimilation does not by itself make a Pole out of a Jew: "`Do they not wish to return to the land of their fathers?...Do they not regard themselves as a separate nation?...The mere change of dress is not sufficient.'" (V1, p. 391). Later, Count Adam Chartoryski [Czartoryski], the Chairman of the Provisional Government in Warsaw, proposed a series of policies, in 1815, which would give Jews full civil rights in return for such things as the abolishment of the Kahals. (V2, p. 89).
Long before Jewish particularism and separatism had become secularized and politicized through movements such as Yiddishism and Zionism, Poland's Jews had been exceptionally resistant to Polish-ness. Dubnow comments: "The opposition to the authorities was particularly vigorous in the Kingdom of Poland where the rank and file of Hasidim were ready to suffer martyrdom for any Jewish custom, however obsolete. The fight was drawn out for a long time and even reached into the following reign, but the victory remained with the obstreperous masses." (V2, p. 145).
During the Poles' November Insurrection (1831), some Warsaw-area Jews actively sided with the Poles (V2, pp. 105-107). However, most did not, and Dubnow implicitly refutes his oft-repeated argument that Jewish non-support for Poland owed to the way that Poles had been treating the Jews. He comments: "In the Western provinces outside the Kingdom of Poland, in Lithuania, Volhynia, and Podolia, the Jewish population held itself aloof from the insurrectionary movement. Here and there, the Jews even sympathized with the Russian government, despite the fact that the latter threw the Polish rulers into the shade by the extent of its Jewish persecution. In some places the Polish insurgents made the Jews pay for their lives for their pro-Russian sympathies." (V2, p. 107). After the 1831 Insurrection, Tsar Nicholas I again praised the Jews for their loyalty to Russia. (V. 2, p. 38).
In the Poles' January Insurrection (1863), many of the foregoing events repeated themselves. Jewish support for Poland was largely limited to Warsaw (V2, pp. 177-181), and Jews took no part in the military skirmishes between Polish guerrillas and Russian soldiers. Dubnow adds: "In Lithuania again neither the Jewish masses nor the newly arisen class of intellectuals sympathized with the Polish cause...The will o' the wisp of Russification had already begun to lure the Jewish professional class." (V2, pp. 182-183).
The author discusses various pogroms, including the 1880 Warsaw pogrom, even hinting at the possible Russian staging of it: "On the whole, the rioters were recruited from the dregs of the Polish population, but there were also found among them a number of unknown persons that spoke Russian. The NOVOYE VREMYA, in commenting upon the pogrom, made special reference to the friendly attitude of the Polish hooligans to the Russians in general and to the officers and soldiers in particular--a rather suspicious attitude, considering the inveterate hatred of the Poles towards the Russians, especially towards the military and official class." (V2, p. 282).
    Interestingly, Zionism developed in parallel in Russia and western Europe. (V3, pp. 42-on). As for early Communism in Russia, Dubnow does not use this term, but realizes that the Socialism advocated by many Jews (such as the BUND and part of the Social Democrats) was Marxian in nature. (V3, pp. 56-57). This early form of the Zydokomuna (Bolshevized Judaism) was a significant factor in the Revolution of 1905: "In the Western governments and in the Kingdom of Poland the Jews played a conspicuous role in the revolutionary movement, counting as they did a large number of organized workingmen." (V3, p. 107).
Although Dubnow does not mention Dmowski and the Endeks by name, he condemns them for considering Jews a separate nationality. (V3, p. 167). Ironically, he recognizes JUST THAT as he points out that Jewish political and radical movements went beyond seeking equality for Jews: "They demanded their rights in full, and demanded them not merely as `the Jewish POPULATION' but as the Jewish PEOPLE, as an autonomous nation among other nations with a culture of its own. The doctrine of `National Cultural Autonomism' was crystallized in definite slogans." (V3, p. 144; emphasis his). The politicized agitation for enhanced Jewish particularism and separatism were also a factor in the Jewish over-involvement in the Revolution of 1905. Dubnow comments: "During the revolutionary struggle in Russia, in 1905 and 1906, the demand for a national-cultural autonomy was embodied in various degrees by nearly all Jewish parties and groups in their platforms..." (V3, p. 55).
Jews came to FUNCTION as a separate nation by sending their own candidates to the Duma elections alongside those of the Poles, beginning with the first one in 1906. (V3, p. 134). Considering the fact that Jewish aloofness from the Polish cause had been more than a century in the making, the reaction of the Endeks was recent and belated, as Dubnow tacitly realizes: "The extraordinary intensity of the national and religious sentiment of the Poles, accentuated by the political oppression which for more than a hundred years had been inflicted upon them, particularly by the hands of Russian despotism, has, during the last decade, been directed against the Jewish people. The economic progress made by the Jews in the two industrial centers of Russian Poland, in Warsaw and Lodz, gave rise to the boycott agitation...The anti-Semitic movement in Poland, which began shortly after the revolution of 1905, assumed extraordinary dimensions in 1910-1911, when the boycott became a fierce economic pogrom, reaching its culmination in 1912..." (V3, pp. 166-167).                                                      PART2 Jews generally opposed any resurrection of the Polish state because it would disrupt the geographical continuity of the Jewish "nation-within-nation" in tsarist Russia, and because it would hinder the movements of Jewish commerce:

The Tragedy of a Generation: The Rise and Fall of Jewish Nationalism in Eastern EuropeJews-As-Nationality: The Real Reason for Jewish Resistance to Assimilation ByJan Peczkison October 31, 2014 Format: Hardcover This work focuses on prominent Yiddishist thinkers, from about 1900 until after WWII, and their understanding of what it meant to be Jewish, how Jews should "modernize", and related topics. Owing to the breadth of the information presented, I focus on a few themes, and devote my emphasis to the impact of Yiddishist thinking on Polish-Jewish relations.

WHY ANTI-ASSIMILATIONIST TENDENCIES
Jewish counter-assimilation, and maintenance of Jewish particularism and separatism, are usually blamed on the persistence of anti-Semitism, the denial of equality and full acceptance to Jews, and to a strongly Christian-majoritarian atmosphere. According to this kind of thinking, assimilation can only proceed in a pluralistic, western-style secular state, with its unambiguous separation of church and state and its equality of all citizens.
Ironic to this line of reasoning (or exculpation), the Jewish separatists actually FEARED the very equality offered by western-style democracies--precisely because it would lead to assimilation! What the Jewish separatists wanted was special national rights for Jews. Thus, Karlip comments, (quote) Following their expressions of euphoria, Diaspora nationalists and Yiddishists began to articulate their vision of the future of a liberated Russian Jewry. Like all other Jewish nationalists, [Elias] Tcherikower warned that civic emancipation in the absence of national rights would lead to West European-style assimilation. He reminded his readers that Russian Jewry had won negative freedom--namely, the freedom from oppression--but had yet to win its positive freedom, which meant national rights and the creation of national institutions. (unquote). (p. 135).
To the Yiddishists, Jewish emancipation and assimilation were inherently unacceptable because they were gutting the very essence of being Jewish, (quote) In this article, he [Zelig Hirsh Kalmanovitch] argued that assimilation resulted from the historical process of modernity itself. In the Middle Ages, he argued, Jewish individuals had lived as members of the Jewish community. Capitalism, however, had granted these individuals the opportunity to seek their fortunes in non-Jewish society. (unquote). (p. 199). In addition, (quote) Emancipation had led to a selfish individualism that condemned all experiments at secular Jewish identity to failure. (unquote). (p. 178).Other Yiddishists went further. They believed in a form of Jewish essentialism that made Jews unassimilable in the first place, (quote) More viscerally, [Yisroel] Efroikin argued that Jewish national distinctiveness rendered assimilation futile. At times, Efroikin's integral nationalist conception of Jewish identity drifted into a racialist conception of Jewish distinctiveness. Invoking the historian Cecil Roth, Efroikin described how Marranos in Spain and Portugal retained a separate identity even five hundred years after their conversions. (unquote). (p. 257).
WHY YIDDISHIST ENMITY TOWARDS A NEW POLAND
The vast majority of the Jews living in the Pale, in tsarist Russia, were descendants of Jews that had been welcomed in pre-Partition Poland when other nations had persecuted them. Evidently, this Polish favor to the Jews had by now been all but forgotten. Karlip writes, (Quote) As this last shred of hope gave way to sober reality, Efroikin also mourned the breakup of Russia into independent successor states as spelling the death of a unified Russian Jewry. From the late eighteenth century until World War I, Lithuanian, Polish, and Ukrainian Jews had comprised a united Russian Jewry that experienced modernization together through such movements and processes as Haskalah, Zionism, and the rise of Yiddish culture. Now, however, Russian Jews would face the future as minorities in emerging nation-states...Although the successor states might guarantee personal emancipation and national autonomy, he argued, the small size of these fragmented Jewish communities would preclude autonomy's implementation. The peasant nationalities that would lead most of these successor states, moreover, would force the Jews from their traditional economic role in commerce and industry. Echoing the Yiddishist call for a synthesis between Jewish and European cultures, Efroikin feared that the low cultural level of these peasant nationalities would negatively affect the development of secular Yiddish culture. (unquote). (pp. 146-147).
In other words, Yiddishist-oriented Jews were against an undoing of the Partitions of Poland, and resurrection of the Polish state, because this would geographically divide the Jews and thus dilute their political power. A new Polish state could also cause the diminution or loss of centuries-old Jewish economic privileges. Finally, Slavic culture was unworthy of the Jews.
THE 1912 DUMA ELECTIONS AND RETALIATORY ENDEK-LED BOYCOTT
Although Karlip does not put it in these terms, he realizes the inordinate political power that Jews had acquired, owing to tsarist Russian policies, before 1912. He remarks, (quote) When the tsarist authorities promised municipal self-government to the cities of Congress Poland, the Kola joined forces with the tsarist regime in seeking to restrict Jewish representation in cities where Jews constituted a majority. Tension reached fever pitch when Poles and Jews fought over whom to send to the fourth Duma as a representative from Warsaw. Because Stolypin's limited franchise favored property owners, the majority of Warsaw voters for the fourth Duma were Jewish. (unquote). (p. 74). [This greatly hindered Polish national aspirations, which hinged upon representation in the Duma. Furthermore, it functionally and artificially made the Poles a minority in their own (Russian-occupied) capital city!]
Both the Poles' disenfranchisement and the inordinate political power of the Jews became even more objectionable to Poles because of the refusal of these Jews to even nominally support Poland's liberation as a free nation after more than a century of post-Partition foreign rule. Karlip quips, (quote) Complicating matters further was the fact that Diaspora nationalists, as opponents of territorial nationalism, envisioned the future of Poland as part of a reformed Russian state, not as an independent country of its own. This issue deeply divided Jewish socialist and liberal nationalists from their Polish counterparts. (unquote). (p. 75).Author Karlip realizes that support for the Dmowski-led boycott of the Jews went far beyond Endek and Endek-sympathetic circles. It included many Polish liberals and progressives. (p. 74, 75).

THE SELF-ATHEIZATION OF POLAND'S JEWS
In 1936, Polish cardinal August Hlond made a much-condemned statement about "Jews as freethinkers, vanguards of Bolshevism, and a threat to morals", etc. Although author Karlip does not mention Hlond, he makes it easy for the reader to see where Hlond was coming from.
Leading Yiddishist thinker Elias Tcherikower effectively corroborated Hlond, writing the following in 1939, in the context of an anti-assimilationist mindset (quote) "The tragedy of our generation does not consist of afflictions that have befallen our lot, but rather in that the generation has lost the old beliefs and has despaired of the new. Through and through individualistic, skeptical, and rationalistic, our generation is devoured by assimilation--right or left--and has lost its past strength." (unquote). (p. 13).
  Furthermore, according to Tcherikower, the abandonment of religion by the Jewish masses had become so pervasive and so irreversible that there could be no return to Jewish religion as the foundation of Jewish self-identity. This was even in the face of the growing disillusionment with the Yiddish language and Jews-as-nationality as modern forms of Jewish self-identity. (p. 207).
After WWII, Efroikin adopted a friendlier attitude to religion, and came to believe that, (quote) The Jewish rejection of God had led not only to national disintegration but also to moral degradation. (unquote). (p. 311). Shades of Cardinal Hlond!In fact, Efroikin went even further. Nowadays, the Nazi-collaborating conduct of the Judenrate and Jewish ghetto police are usually framed solely in terms of powerless, desperate Jews trying to save their own lives. In contrast, (quote) Efroikin contrasted what he deemed the immoral and opportunistic behavior of the acculturated Jews of the JUDENRATE and Jewish police with the much more exemplary behavior of those Jews who had remained loyal to the religious tradition. (unquote). (p. 311).
THE YIDDISHISTS AND COMMUNISM
It is not easy to gauge to what extent the Yiddishist movement was steeped in Communism. This owes to an array of amorphous labels, euphemisms, and semantics ("socialism", "Marxism", "class struggle", etc.), with unclear substantive differences (if any) from Communist ideology and tactics.Tcherikower had been a Menshevist (p. 2, 91), and the Menshevists are identified by Karlip as "orthodox Marxists". (p. 140). Chaim Zhitlovsky and Yisroel Efroikin were Seymists (p. 64), and the Seymists were defined by Karlip as a Jewish socialist party that was pursuing a "strident Marxism". (p. 31). Efroikin and Kalmanovitch practiced "revolutionary socialism" (p. 91), which, semantics aside, is little different from Communism.
During and after the Russian Revolution, the Yiddishists evaluated the Communist takeover largely in terms of its promotion of Jews as a nationality. For example, Tcherikower broke with Lenin, at the Second International in 1916, probably because the latter was hostile to Jewish nationalism. (p. 114). In time, Tcherikower came to hate the Soviet Union because it had denationalized Yiddish culture. (p. 215).
On the other hand, other Yiddishists maintained an undisguised pro-Communist mindset, as illustrated by the following quotes:(quote)...the Yiddish literati, who professed allegiance to the Soviet regime as soon as it established its power in Kiev in 1919. (unquote). (p. 170). (quote)...the political parties that represented the Jewish working class drew closer and then merged with the Communists... (unquote). (p. 172). (quote) The socialist nationalist Russian Jewish intelligentsia, however, remained so invested in the events of 1917 that they refused to allow the messianic fervor to die even as reality often contradicted their dreams. (unquote). (p. 173). (quote) As we have seen, many members of the Bund and the Fareynikte initially remained optimistic that the Soviet regime would support their vision of the creation of a new proletariat, but still thoroughly national, Jewish identity. By joining the Evsektsiia, some of these intellectuals hoped to realize their dream of the transformation of the Jewish people into a secular, proletariat, Yiddish nation through the decrees of the Soviet state. (unquote). (p. 174).Finally, during the latter stages of WWII, Efroikin effectively fell in love with the USSR. (p. 249, 263).
POLEMICS AGAINST JESUS CHRIST
Jewish antagonism towards Jesus Christ is usually understood in terms of the Talmud and the attitudes of religious Jews. However, secular Yiddishist thinker Zelig Hirsh Kalmanovitch, writing in 1920, actively juxtaposed traditional Jewish motifs against Jesus Christ with his antagonism to certain political opponents. He wrote, (quote) "...those we were accustomed to see as virtually paragons of virtue now seem in my eyes as though they were bathed in the lake of Hell in which `that man' [Jesus of Nazareth] was condemned. [The smell] carries, it seems to me, for a mile." (unquote). (p. 170). (Brackets are Karlip's).
INTERNATIONAL JEWRY?Fantasies of great Jewish power, at the international level, were made infamous by conspiracy theories, and such things as the PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION, the ideas of Henry Ford, and the ideology of the Nazis. Interestingly, some prominent Yiddishist Jews also entertained fantasies of great Jewish power at the international level. Thus, author Karlip describes what he calls the "grandiose scheme" (p. 147) of leading Yiddishist Yisroel Efroikin, (quote) The breakup of the Russian Empire, he argued, demanded the creation of an international Jewish World Association run by a KLAL YISROEL V'A'AD (Jewish People's Assembly). The American, Russian, Polish, and other Jewish congresses would elect representatives to this parliamentary body. This international assembly, funded from taxes on the international Jewish community, would help to regulate Jewish community emigration and to establish Jewish cultural institutions. Most importantly, however, the KLAL YISROEL V'A'AD would achieve legal recognition as the official representative of the Jewish nation and would lead the battle for the implementation of Jewish national rights throughout the world(unquote). (p. 147)                                                              PART3 The centuries-old Jewish religious-based separatism, and self-imposed apartheid, were increasingly being replaced by a more aggressive and politicized version--based on the Yiddishist movement and on Zionism:  The centuries-old Jewish religious-based separatism, and self-imposed apartheid, were increasingly being replaced by a more aggressive and politicized version--based on the Yiddishist movement and on Zionism: The Rise of Modern Yiddish Culture (Pitt Russian East European)The Yiddishist Movement, Jews As Nationality, and Atheism  REVIEW by Jan Peczkis on September 26, 2014 Format: Kindle Edition In my review, I do not limit my analysis to the book itself. I extend the content to broader issues of lasting relevance.
This work goes beyond Yiddishist developments. It contains an assortment of interesting information. For instance, Chaim Zhitlovsky, and other cultural radicals like him, rejected Purim as a chauvinistic celebration of Jewish vengeance. (p. 109). On another subject, Fishman provides interesting detail on the origins of YIVO, and the heroic efforts to save part of its archives from the German Nazis.
The author traces the relatively late emergence Yiddish as a modern, literary language, and then moves on to its political implications. He points out that the modernization of Jewish society itself, in tsarist Russia, was well advanced by about 1860 (p. 20), contradicting those who suppose that Russia's Jews were too backward to develop modern Yiddish culture until about 1900.

THE JANUARY 1863 UPRISING
The surprising delay in the large-scale emergence of Yiddish institutions, until nearly the start of the 20th century, owed largely to the repressive effects of the Russification that had been in place since the suppression of the Poles' January 1863 Insurrection. In elaborating on this heavy-handed Russian cultural imperialism, Fishman comments, (quote) After the Polish uprising of 1863, the tsarist Ministry of Education imposed Russian as the sole language of instruction in all elementary and secondary schools in the Kingdom of Poland and the western provinces. This step was primarily designed to uproot Polish and combat the spread of Polish nationalist sentiments among the younger generation. Secondarily, it was intended to preempt the independent cultural development of other languages, such as Ukrainian and Lithuanian. But it also had a direct impact on modern Jewish schools and their use of Yiddish. (unquote). (pp. 29-30). In addition, (quote) Polish was systematically hounded out of the schools and excluded from all official government functions in the Kingdom of Poland. (unquote). (p. 52).
JEWS AND THE 1905 REVOLUTION
Fishman comments, (quote) Revolutionary disturbances had swept across the empire beginning in January 1905, with the Bund leading a groundswell of demonstrations and strikes in the Pale of Settlement. The revolution shook the tsarist regime to its foundations and culminated with the October 17 Manifesto, in which Tsar Nicholas II made significant political concessions...But in the days immediately following the October manifesto, counterrevolutionary groups vented their political rage by perpetrating pogroms in several hundred locales, killing more than twenty-five hundred Jews. (unquote). (p. 54). The opinion of these events, by Tsar Nicholas II, is very similar. Click on, and read the Peczkis review, of The Secret Letters of the Last Tsar.
JEWS-AS-NATIONALITY AND SPECIAL NATIONAL RIGHTS
Nowadays, Poles are often faulted for once considering Jews "the other", and for not generally accepting Poland's Jews as fellow Poles. However, this very much also went the other way. For centuries, Jewish particularism and separatism had centered on religion. Now, a new, much more aggressive and politicized Jewish particularism and self-imposed apartheid was emerging, based on the secular Yiddishist movement. For instance, the Yiddishist Folkspartei was of the position that a Jew could only join another national group, such as the Poles or Russians, by resigning from the Jewish community. (p. 69).
The Yiddishist movement not only elevated Jews to a separate, formal nationality, but also made its goal the turning of Russia [and later Poland] into a [arguably Balkanized] federation of nationalities. (pp. 64-65). [This maps onto Polish concerns of a Judeopolonia.] The position of Chaim Zhitlovsky, at the turn of the 20th century in Russia, enshrined and expanded Jewish separatism in the following rather extreme manner, (quote) Their demands included: (1) guarantees for the use of Yiddish and Hebrew by government agencies in their communications with the Jewish population and the right of Jews to use Yiddish and Hebrew in official institutions, such as the courts; (2) proportional representation of national minorities, including the Jews, in all elected political bodies; (3) establishment of Jewish national self-government on the local and statewide levels, through the agency of Modern KEHILES and a Jewish National Assembly; (4) recognition of national-minority schools, including Jewish ones, as institutions of public education. (unquote). (p. 63). [Decades later, in the newly-resurrected Poland of 1918, the same aggressive Jewish separate-nation demands were made in the form of the so-called Minorities Treaty, and Poles (notably the Endeks) were (and are) demonized for their disagreement with these arguably-onerous Jewish demands.]
The foregoing does not mean that non-Yiddishist or anti-Yiddishist Jews living in Poland were necessarily "Poles" in any sense. For instance, Fishman speaks of the situation in the resurrected Polish state, (quote) ...the eastern borderlands, the KRESY, where Jews had previously gravitated toward Russian (rather than Polish) culture. (unquote). (p. 85).

THE SELF-ATHEIZATION AND COMMUNIZATION OF POLAND'S JEWS
In 1936, Polish Cardinal August Hlond made a statement about Jews as freethinkers and vanguards of Bolshevism, and nowadays is regularly condemned for it. Although this work does not mention Hlond, it makes it obvious that, not only was Hlond essentially correct, but what he was describing had begun decades earlier, in Russian-ruled eastern Poland.
Chaim Zhitlovsky, an influential Yiddishist thinker who wrote from 1897 to 1914, followed the atheist line that dismissed religion as something discredited by modern science, philosophy, and morality. (p. 101). Isaac Leib Peretz stripped the Bible of divine revelation, and redefined it as a repository of Jewish literature. (p. 102). Still another leading Yiddishist thinker, Esther Frumkin, writing in 1910, scoffed at Jewish religious practices, and expressed a desire for holidays to celebrate what she called the proletarian struggle. (p. 103).
Although Fishman attempts to soften the secularism of the Yiddishist movement, he finally admits to its militant atheist essence, (quote) Discussion of God as creator, master of the universe, or providential force was beyond the pale of acceptable discourse. Consequently, prayer and religious ritual were likewise anathema...While much of the religious tradition could be recast in national terms, the aversion to religion per se remained nearly total...the Judaism of secular Yiddishists, even of the national-romantic variety, was a Judaism without religion and a Judaism without God. (unquote). (pp. 112-113).

The Jewish involvement in Communism is commonly, but incorrectly, marginalized as membership in Communist parties. Actually, it was much broader than that. Consider the Bund. Although the Bund followed, rather than caused, the advance of Yiddishist tendencies (p. 48), it played an indispensable role in the promotion of Yiddish literacy among the Jewish masses. (p. 50). In addition, Fishman notes that, (quote) The Bund's contribution was to champion after 1905 a version of Yiddishism that was staunchly Marxist, secularist, and anti-Hebrew. (unquote). (p. 60). Although "Marxism" and "socialism" are amorphous terms, it is obvious that these terms, at least as used by Fishman, are essentially indistinguishable from the main features of Communism: (quote) As Marxists, they [Bund] supported the struggle of the proletariat (including the Jewish proletariat) against their economic exploiters and believed that they would lead the battle to overthrow tsarism and replace it with socialism. (unquote). (p. 64).
The author characterizes the Yiddishist Tsisho (Tsysho/Cysho) schools, in interwar Poland, as controlled by two parties--the Bund and Poale-Zion-Left--both of which are identified as Marxist. (p. 91). Fishman adds, (quote) Moreover, the Yiddish schools in particular were harassed and persecuted by the Polish authorities, who considered them to be nests of Communism...Finally, the overtly partisan nature of the Tsisho schools narrowed their constituency to the children of Socialist parents. (unquote). (p. 92)                                           PART4      Centuries of economic privileges had essentially made Jews an economic overclass over Poles. Both the nobility and peasantry had been effectively under their thumb. In time, all this led to Polish efforts to "take Poland back" from the Jews. Even then, the AVERAGE Jew remained better off than the average Pole: From Serfdom to Self-Government: Memoirs of a Polish Village Mayor, 1842-1927
Social and Political History of the Jews in Poland 1919-1939 (New Babylon: Studies in the Social Sciences) 19th-Century Polish Peasants and Their Dependence Upon Jewish Usury REVIEW by Jan Peczkis on May 15, 2010 This work was published in 1912 in Polish, with an English-language abridged version in 1929. The present work consists of a 1941 reprint of the latter along with a few added chapters. Jan Slomka was the village mayor of Dzikov (near Tarnobrzeg), in Austrian-ruled Poland near the border with Russian-ruled Poland. His invaluable insights are supported by specific events that he relates.
This book focuses on everyday peasant life, and includes details on such things as peasant tales, superstitions, pranks, etc. No mention is made of peasants believing in the blood libel or blaming Jews for the Crucifixion of Christ. However, it is noted that the local Jews "...staged a mock representation of the sufferings of our Lord." (p. 50).Those who wonder about the origins of Polish anti-Semitism can immediately see that the Polish peasantry was consistently at the mercy of Jewish usurers: "Peasants had nothing to do with trade, holding it to be a Jewish enterprise...Often the peasant would pay dearly in the spring for grain he had sold the autumn before for a song." (p. 81). "We felt the lack of nourishment, almost every year, from the spring until the crop came in. Grain and other things would jump in price just double, and could be had only from the Jews. These latter would begin from harvest-time to buy up provisions from the farmers, mostly paying them with vodka: and this they would sell during the hunger-period at huge profit." (p. 46).
Slomka continues: "In business the Jews were crooks and unreliable. The buyer had always to look sharp, else he would get short weight or measure, or get poor goods, or pay higher than he expected." (p. 96). "Easy" money from Jewish lenders was a trap: "In the first years after serfdom ended, the Jews managed to get a hold of not a few people, win them by cleverness, loans, or vodka, and for the moment persuade them that they had no better friends in the world. But before the latter could think things out, in a year or two their farms were gone, and became the property of the other." (p. 97). "By these tactics, the Jews ruined as much as half of the farmers, for there were enough light-headed folk in every community who would borrow money, and do nothing with it, or even spend it for a drink." (p. 85). The Polish nobility also lost out to Jewish usurers: "So too the list is long of the manor estates lost by their former owners. During my day there have passed into Jewish hands a whole row of houses in Tarnobrzeg County." (p. 89).
The author's portrayal of Jews is free of rancor, and far from unilaterally negative. He praises Jews as a whole for such things as their frugality, ambition, and fiscal self-discipline, as well as the virtual absence of alcoholism among them. (pp. 94-95). He also has high regards for the skills of certain Jewish tailors. (pp. 64-65). At the same time, Slomka notes that, apart from alcoholism (p. 91), the lack of sophistication of peasants made them an easy mark: "Peasants had nothing to do with trade, holding it to be a Jewish enterprise. One must remember that we had no schools, and the peasant was not trained to do business--he couldn't reckon at all. How hard it was for a peasant in those days to get into business, I can tell from my own experience." (p. 81).
   Finally, Slomka realizes how Jewish economic dominance had originated: "It was the gentry, lords of the big estates, who gave the Jews their proper chance to get money and lands. They put them in charge of the village inns, and gave them the license to sell vodka. With this chance to drown the brain of the ignorant, they began their thieving trade, and in time wormed their way into the manor houses as agents, purveyors, dealers in timber, in cattle, hay, lands, etc.--in short, before long they got the whole estate under their thumbs...But the Jews have never wanted to till the soil, they have preferred to live by their wits, to profit by trading in the lands peasants have had to pay for." (p. 98).

Slowly, things began to change. Ironically, the eventual 20th-century poverty of much of Polish Jewry was the result of belated restrictions on their usurious conduct. Slomka comments: "This sort of thing went on until the laws were passed against usury, forbidding the taking of high interest (1877 and 1881). From them on the courts began to prosecute and punish usurers, and the vengeance of God came upon them. They fell on evil days..." (p. 87). Also, the growing sophistication of the peasantry became evident: "In general, it is harder for the Jews to get rich today. They can do better in business and live better than can the peasant on his land or the lower rank of officials, but in a short time they cannot make such a fortune. The change came when schools began to flourish and people got wiser and stopped their drinking. Folk began to waste less time. Agricultural Societies were formed, and Catholics went into business." (pp. 100-101).
Slomka himself opened up a shop, but: "We couldn't do much with it, because the town was too near and the competition of the Jewish shops was too keen." (p. 182). The local Jews took extreme measures to maintain their economic hegemony, even offering to buy back a strategic property from the Poles at a high price. Failing that, they ostracized and committed violence against the fellow Jew who had sold the property to the Poles. (p. 199).
Dmowski-style boycotts of Jewish shops, designed to emancipate Poles from Jewish economic dominance, are not mentioned. They were a later development.                       PART5        As Polish independence was finally being realized (1918), local Jews generally sided with Germany over the contested territories of western Poland:The White Eagle of Poland  On the Eve: The Jews of Europe Before the Second World War A Rational Analysis of Prewar Polish Anti-Semitism .REVIEW by Jan Peczkis on May 7, 2004 Jewish scholar Joseph Marcus eschews the knee-jerk anti-Polish generalizations that typify material on this subject in favor of a thorough examination of the Jewish situation prior to Polish independence (1870-1918) and in preWWII Poland (1918-1939). It soon becomes obvious that all the indignities and injustices that Polish Jews experienced occurred within the broader context of overall Polish tolerance in the face of considerable development of Jewish economic life. Ironically, Polish anti-Semitism festered and grew primarily because Polish Jews had been so successful in the first place-actually and perceptively at Polish expense.
Marcus notes that Poland, under foreign rule, had missed the Industrial Revolution. He claims that what little industrial infrastructure Poland had acquired by the late 19th century had been almost entirely established and owned by Jews. Pointedly, Marcus (p. 94) recognizes its slight benefits for Poland right up to WWI. Jewish entrepreneurship tended to stay within extended families (pp. 92-93), thus reinforcing its self-perpetuating, Pole-disenfranchising, monopolistic character. Early industrialization tended to be very exploitive of working people, so there were minimal "trickle down" benefits for individual Poles. The sugar industry had been almost entirely Jewish until 1914 (p. 87). Jews, who constituted only 10% of Poland's population, accounted for 70% of licenses (p. 327) to perform business in industry and commerce (early 1920's, central Poland). Jews controlled about 40% of industry and commerce (p. 327) in the Polish urban economy (1926-1934). In 1935, most of Warsaw's 48 banks were Jewish (p. 109). Just before the outbreak of WWII (1938-1939), 55% of the Poland's chemical industry was Jewish-owned (p. 115), as were 70% of the textile and food industries (p. 113, 116). The garment and shoe industries remained entirely Jewish. In Polish universities (1929), Jews constituted 42% of its graduates (p. 67). Finally, although there was wide disparity between rich and poor Jews, the overall Jewish per capita income was more than 40% greater than that of Poles (1929; p. 41).
One can comprehend how Poles came to think that "Jews are the real rulers of Poland" and that "Jews are getting rich on the backs of Poles". Moreover, the bulk of preWWI manufactured products went to Russia (p. 13, 100) and other foreign rulers, contributing to the impression of a Jewish-foreign bond acting against Polish interests. The rather tepid Jewish support for Polish independence in 1918, a fact not mentioned by Markus, further reinforced this notion. However, Polish anti-Semitism was more words than substance, as it NEVER developed to the point of seriously challenging the Jews' dominant status. (For example, most Polish consumers disregarded calls to boycott Jewish traders; p. 245).
The Jews have a long history of commercial activity, and undoubtedly the entrepreneurial spirit had developed much earlier and more strongly among Jews than Poles. However, Marcus' portrayal of Jewish economic dominance as the default outcome of Polish ineptitude ("a static, feudal society disinterested in modernization", p. 95, 97) overlooks essential facts. The most active members of Polish society, those most capable of rivaling the pioneering Jewish entrepreneurs, had been killed, imprisoned, and exiled in the wake of the failed insurrections of 1830 and 1863 against Russian rule. (In fact, exiled Poles played a significant role in the early industrialization of parts of Siberia, the New World, etc.) Marcus' quotations of Poles hostile to progress ignore the fact that such attitudes were also common in societies that no one would consider stagnant. For instance, Victorian England, the very leader of the Industrial Revolution, had its own "nostalgic medievalism" as well as the Luddite and similar movements. The dislike of railroads by Polish farmers paralleled that of cowboys and ranchers in the American West. Marcus states that Polish aristocrats despised economic activity, but often became very successful businessmen after emigration (p. 6). Polish petty traders, "disdainful of trade", actually increased in numbers in the 1930's at a rate greater than the disappearance of Jewish ones (pp. 62-63). Clearly, the mythical "Polish distaste for commerce" had largely been a displaced hostility actually directed at the overwhelming preoccupation of Poland's economical niche by Jews.
Unlike the US, Poland never claimed to be a pluralistic society, and the needs of the majority took precedence over that of minorities in the event of conflicting interests. Having just recovered their independence after 123 years, the Poles were especially sensitive to such conflicts. The positions of Dmowski and the Endeks, professedly upholding Polish interests rather than resisting minorities' rights per se, must be understood in this light.
In the US, affirmative action is framed in terms of the expansion of opportunities for nonwhites rather than racist discrimination against whites. In Poland, affirmative action (using modern parlance) was likewise framed in terms of the expansion of opportunities for Poles in Jewish-dominated institutions rather than anti-Semitic discrimination against Jews. Interestingly, some influential Jews (Grunbaum, Jabotinsky; p. 230) accepted this nuance. Poland's affirmative action took several forms, including taxation, hiring of Polish government workers, and the much-maligned numerus clausus at universities. Significantly, in the 1920's, there were no pogroms (p. 355), and there was no political pressure for Jews to emigrate (p. 391). All this changed in the 1930's, in the wake of the Great Depression. It is patently incorrect to speak of economic growth equalizing opportunities for Poles, as the Jews, owing to their previously acquired advantages, got the lion's share of further economic growth. Furthermore, after the Great Depression, the "economic pie" actually shrunk, reversing earlier economic growth.
Marcus finds fault in both sides: "The Poles refused to accept the Jews, but the Jews did not want to be fully accepted (p. 327)" He criticizes Jewish leaders for deepening Polish-Jewish conflicts (p. 302), and for not forging a closer relationship with the philosemitic Pilsudski regime (p. 327). He faults American Jews for not even minimally supporting Polish Jews, notably in regards to significant emigration to Palestine. The "fantastic" Beck-Jabotinsky plan, for this reason, had no change of even a minimal degree if success (pp. 398-401).          An other book about the subject:The Belligerents on Polish Territory at the Time of WWI, and Early WWI Pro-German Jewish Attitudes  .Review by Jan Peczkis on August 17, 2014 Format: Paperback My review is based on the original 1919 edition. This work provides much detail on the policies of the major powers during WWI in relation to foreign-ruled Poland, especially that of the German military government. Author Benson also touches on early potential plans to resurrect the Polish state in partial form. Finally, he apportions the blame, for the negative aspects of Polish-Jewish relations, to both sides. Let us focus on this subject:
JEWISH GERMANOPHILIA: PRIVILEGES AND PROFITEERING
The author evaluates the antipathy of Poland's Jews to the impending resurrection of the Polish state, and their pro-German orientation. (pp. 66-67; 152-153). He attributes this in part to the hostility of Poles to Jews (though he qualifies this, as quoted below, in mentioning Jewish conduct during the November 1830 and January 1863 Insurrections against tsarist Russian rule). He also points to the favors that the Germans had recently bestowed on the Jews of formerly Russian-occupied Poland, though elsewhere (p. 96, 153, 180), he recognizes this as a German tactic designed to solidify their rule over Polish territory.
Author Benson entirely fails to mention German anti-Semitism, and does not explain, if Jews were so animated by concern with anti-Semitism when it came from the Poles and the Russians, why the Jews evidently turned a blind eye to German anti-Semitism. He does mention the severe recent exploitation of the Lithuanian Jews by the Germans (p. 96; pp. 172-173), but again fails to explain why the Jews elsewhere overlooked it in their embrace of the Germans.However, Benson does provide some tacit answers to the foregoing questions. He notes that the Jewish attitude against Poland and in favor of Germany stemmed in part from economic self-interest. He comments, (quote) She [Germany] has given them greater liberty and rights than they enjoyed in Russian Poland before; she has admitted them to the Council of State, she has founded Jewish schools, and above all she has given them "business". (unquote). (p. 67).

JEWS AS A TOOL OF THE GERMANS
Benson continues, (quote) In both Poland and Russia she [Germany] has employed the Jews on the mission of disintegration with the success that up till now has always attended the policy of Mittel-Europa, and to-day the Judaic interest in the question of Poland cannot, in the very nature of things, be pro-Polish. POUR LE BON MOTIF, that is to say, for the interest of the nation, they support the German interest here, there and elsewhere, on patriotic grounds....In Russia similarly they have played Germany's game, both by aiding and abetting the Bolsheviks while they were Germany's tools, and by persistently making bad blood between the Poles there and the Russians. (unquote). (p. 67).
JEWISH POLICIES GOVERNED BY OPPORTUNISM?
Benson continues, (quote) They [Jews] have no national territory at stake; they are but the mistletoe, a strong parasitic growth, on other trees, and, as regards Poland, they have selected the tree that they consider the most likely to give them nutriment. That tree is Germany...It is only necessary to note that the Jews of the whole of Poland as an independent united state, have put their money on Germany, because they believe that Germany will control the destinies of these territories. (unquote). (pp. 67-69).
INCREASINGLY AGGRESSIVE JEWISH SEPARATISM
Benson continues, (quote) But the Jews in the Kingdom of Poland are not only Pro-German but also anti-Polish, and it is noticeable that, whereas all Jews in German Poland declare themselves German, when a census was taken at Lodz after the German occupation, only 2,300 Jews declared themselves Poles, while 153,000 declared themselves Jews. The Poles claim that originally they were tolerant and hospitable to Jews, but that in the insurrections of 1830 and 1863, the latter sided against them with the Russians, and that during the last twenty years they have consistently organized themselves as a separate nationality, showing marked hostility to the poles(p.69). THROUGH THE 1912 DUMA ELECTIONS: JEWS BOYCOTT POLES FIRST
Benson continues, (quote) About 1907 they [Jews] began a boycotting policy against Poles, forbidding their countrymen, for instance, to consult Polish doctors, and in 1909 when the Poles proclaimed a boycott of German products in Poland, this boycott failed because the Jews lent their support to German commerce. The ill-feeling between the two has been steadily on the increase, and came to a head when in 1912 at the election of the fourth Duma, for which M. Kucharzewski and M. Dmowski were standing at Warsaw, the Jewish vote succeeded in defeating both of them and electing their own candidate. This led to a Polish commercial boycott of Jews, and at present the antagonism between the two is hostile and fierce. The feeling of the Poles towards them is not so much anti-Semitic as such, but is the antagonism of a race for a foreign and hostile dweller in its lands. (unquote). (pp. 69-70). In addition, the author points out that the Jewish electoral victory in 1912 was also a victory of German influence. (p. 76).
The author concluded that Jews and Poles needed to reconcile themselves to each other (e. g., pp. 70-71, 97). However, he was vague as to how this was supposed to happen.   On other book on the subject with some remarks: On the Eve: The Jews of Europe Before the Second World War This is an encyclopedic account of the final years of the Jewish tragedy of life in Europe.One can only marvel at the breadth of Wasserstein's research and his enviably graceful writing.He eschews polemics and though full of empathy and sorrow at the events he unfolds, nevertheless he never sinks into bathos.
Like the previous reviewer ,I believe every Jew and indeed every person who desires to know more than the "Cliff Notes" version of the History of the Jews in Europe until 1939 should read it.
It was recommended to me by a dear non-Jewish friend who insisted that I read it as one of the most profoundly moving books I would ever read.
He was right!                                                                PART 6     As Poland was being resurrected, the local Jews, with the open support of international Jewry, attempted to detach the eastern city of Bialystok from Poland, and make it part of Lithuania or Russia, or even a mini Jewish state.  Jewish Bialystok and Its Diaspora (The Modern Jewish Experience)Jewish Bialystok and Its Diaspora (The Modern Jewish Experience) Paperback – May 7, 2010  by Rebecca Kobrin Bialystok as a Model of the Litvak Situation from a Jewish Viewpoint  REVIEW by Jan Peczkis on January 29, 2012 Format: Paperback Although this work is centered on the Jews of Bialystok, it is useful to the reader for understanding the situation facing Jews in Russian-occupied Poland. Less attention is devoted to Bialystok in the resurrected Polish state (1918-1939), the German-Nazi Holocaust (1939-1945), and the post-WWII period (1945-on). The author also provides an impressive account of the Jewish diaspora in nations as separated as Argentina and the USA. Although Jewish-Polish relations are not the main subject of this work, I approach it from that viewpoint for purposes of this review.It is clear that Jewish separatism, and anti-Polishness, were a cause, and not consequence of Endek enmity against Jews. Shortly after the Partitions, while Bialystok was under Prussian rule, the following happened: "While the native Polish population remained steadfastly loyal to their `Polish province,' as Prussian officials dejectedly admitted, Jews embraced German culture." (p. 25).
Then Russian rule began. The following separate paragraphs are quotations that show how the Jews had lost touch with Polish national aspirations, and had become an unwitting and witting tool of the Russian rulers over Poland:In place of national affiliation, then, these Jews--like those in Odessa, Warsaw, and St. Petersburg--viewed themselves through an urban regional lens. They were loyal Bialystokers, first and foremost, ambivalent and uncertain whether to identify themselves as devoted Russian subjects or as Jews of the Polish nation. (p. 25).
Once Polish nationalist agitation intensified in the 1830's, though, the tsarist government encouraged Jews, who despite their ambivalent relationship to the Russian state, were viewed as more loyal than Poles, to settle in Bialystok in order to diminish Polish revolutionary fervor(p.28).
Moreover, the Polish rebellion of 1863 cemented Russian authorities' support for Jewish settlement and industrial expansion in Polish lands...an influx of Jews and new economic opportunities would help eliminate Polish nationalist fervor. (p. 29).
By the end of the nineteenth century, however, approximately fifty thousand Jews lived in Bialystok, drawn to the town by its central position along the Russian railway system and tsarist authorities' support of Jewish settlement in Congress Poland as a means to quell Polish nationalist agitation. (p. 21).--End of paragraph quotes--
Although Kobrin does not use the term Litwak (Litvak) migration, she alludes to it: "...Russia's uneven industrial development forced millions to move from small towns to large cities. As one can see vividly in the example of nineteenth century Bialystok, the dramatic movement of Jews within the western areas of the Russian Empire..." (p. 7). Jews came to account for 76% of Bialystok's population in 1897 before dropping to48.4% as part of Poland's Second Republic(p.26)
When the Polish state was resurrected in 1918, the Jews clearly sought special privileges--ones that would maintain and enhance their intense separatism. Through the League of Nations, they demanded special government-supported Jewish schools. (p. 289). Instead of conforming to the Polish nation as a minority group, Jews, through the Minorities Treaty, tried a role-reversal by trying to force the Polish nation to conform to them by recognizing Yiddish on an equal footing with Polish in public and official matters. (p. 137, 140).The Bialystok-area Jews then came out in open insubordination against the Polish nation, arrogating to themselves the privileges of a Judeopolonia (my term), that is, a fully sovereign Jewish nation on Polish soil. Jewish leaders demanded a plebiscite to determine whether Bialystok should remain part of Poland, or whether it should be part of Lithuania, the Soviet Union, or even its own special zone. (p. 138). This act of sedition enjoyed broad support among influential and foreign Jews: "Yiddish newspapers also argued unswervingly against Poland, claiming the annexation of Bialystok was illegal, given that less than one-third of the city's residents were Polish." (p. 138). "Emboldened by the absolute support of émigré philanthropists, the Yiddish press in Bialystok continued to question Polish sovereignty..." (p. 146). Local Kehilla leaders urged that Jews resist the draft into the Polish Army by providing false identification papers. (p. 139). The Polish reaction to the violation of their nation is not difficult to imagine.                                               PART 7     The so-called Minorities Treaty, being forced on the new Polish state by international Jewish pressure, was not about the Jewish rights of a religious and cultural minority--something that Poland's Jews already had. It was about creating expansive separate-nation rights of Jews on Polish soil.REVIEW by  Jan Peczkis:The Jews and minority rights (1898-1919) (Studies in history, economics, and public law, no. 384)Poland's Jews: Minority Rights or Special Separate-Nation Rights? Jewish author Oscar Janowsky is quite even-handed on this subject. He presents a wealth of information. I organize the topics as follows:
JEWS AS A SEPARATE NATIONALITY
By way of introduction, (quote) On the other hand, the vast majority of the eastern Jews, including those of Galicia and Bukowina, still lived in compact masses apart from the rest of the population; they spoke the Yiddish language and maintained separate educational and cultural institutions. Groups of intellectuals had even begun to demand that the Jews be recognized as a nationality and that they be endowed with what were vaguely called "national rights." (unquote). (p. 16).
The concept of "Jews as nationality" was not merely a politicized continuation of the centuries-old Jewish particularism and separatism. Janowsky quips, (quote) The ancient constitution had segregated the Jews as aliens, and the self-governing institutions, which the latter maintained, also bore a strong religious coloring. The Jewish nationalists of the twentieth century envisaged something radically different. The Jews were not to be segregated in modern ghettos. On the contrary, they were to be incorporated in the state organism as a national unit along with the other nationalities who clamored for recognition in eastern Europe. (unquote). (p. 49). Note that Janowsky's statements map unto what some Poles thought of Jews wanting it both ways--simultaneously being part of Poland and not being part of Poland.
The concept of "Jews as nationality" may be confusing to some people, and other terms may be clearer. President Woodrow Wilson used the term "separate corporate body". (p. 351). Jewish delegations referred to the Jewish national movement as one where Jews would have "group rights". (p. 265).

JEWS AS THE "OTHER" FULLY REALIZED
Nowadays, Poles are often condemned for not embracing Poland's Jews as Poles, for having seen Jews as the "other", and even for not including Jews within the Poles' "sphere of moral obligations." However, there were many times in the past that Poland's Jews had overtly excluded themselves from the Polish nation, and the "Jews as nationality" concept only enhanced and formalized this self-exclusion.
After the KULTURKAMPF, with the attempts to Germanize forcibly the Polish children of German-ruled western Poland (west Prussia), Jewish nationalists opposed this policy because it made Jews an agent of Germanization, which Poles thought also. However, these nationality-minded Jews made it clear that they were not Poles (nor Germans). They considered themselves a separate national entity. (p. 206).
This also occurred in the other two Partitioned regions of foreign-ruled Poland. In the first elections to the Duma (Russian parliament), the Jewish candidates supported national rights for Jews. (p. 89). Although Janowsky does not discuss the much-maligned 1912 Dmowski-led boycott of Jews that occurred in the wake of a later Duma election, it is easy to see that Jewish participation in the Duma elections implied a decisive rejection of Polish interests.The Jews of eastern Galicia declared themselves neutral in the Ukrainian-Polish conflicts that led up to the war of 1918. Furthermore, the Jews demanded national minority rights from whoever emerged victorious. (pp. 273-274).
As Poland was in the process of being resurrected (1918), a MAJORITY of local Jews supported the total dis-affiliation with Poland. Janowsky comments, (quote) The Jews of Posen [Poznan] had become thoroughly German in sentiment, but the defeat of Germany, the uncertainty as to the ultimate disposition of that Polish region, and fear that the Jews might suffer in the struggle between Germans and Poles led to a demand that the Jews be recognized as a third nationality in the region...with the support of a majority of Jews of the contested territory, it appealed to the Peace Conference to assure the Jews of Posen [Poznan] the rights of a national minority. (unquote). (p. 279).

HUNGARY'S ASSIMILATED JEWS AS PATRIOTIC HUNGARIANS, THEN JEWS-AS-NATIONALITY
The experience of the Israelitish Magyars is instructive: (Quote) Hungarian Jews, too, though they had been least affected by Jewish nationalism, and had long considered themselves Magyars of the Mosaic persuasion, were moved to espouse Jewish national demands. On December 15, 1918, representatives of Jewish communities met in conference with the local Jewish at Temesvar, and together adopted a national program. Hungarian Jewry was declared to be a national minority and demands were made for a broad national autonomy, including a national register. This action of Hungarian Jews appears surprising; but sufficient explanation can be found in the fact that the Banat of Temesvar was expected to be annexed by Rumania [Romania]. Magyars of the Mosaic persuasion would be doubly unwelcome in the latter country; even if it were possible for Hungarian Jews to transform themselves overnight into Rumanians of the Mosaic persuasion, it was doubtful whether Rumania would take kindly even to that species. (unquote). (p. 275).
Now consider the following. Roman Dmowski, while always realizing that some Polish Jews become genuine patriotic Poles, cited the example of Hungarian Jews as ones whose assimilated status, and patriotic identification with Hungary, turned out to be a chameleon-like ephemeral loyalty. He feared that the same could happen with Poland-identifying Polish Jews. Janowsky's statements, quoted above, though not presented as such, indicate that Dmowski's concerns had some basis in fact.

THE MINORITIES TREATY AND POLAND: SPECIAL JEWISH RIGHTS REJECTED
President Woodrow Wilson supported the granting of racial, religious and linguistic rights for minorities. However, he opposed "national rights" for Jews as harmful. (p. 351).
The obvious separate-nation claims of Jews were not accepted as part of the eventual Minorities Treaty. Janowsky writes, (quote) The Council was informed that the "wide reaching" claims of some of the Jewish representatives for the recognition of a definite Jewish nationality in Poland, with separate electoral curiae, had been unanimously rejected because such action would constitute a "State within a State" and would "very seriously undermine the authority of the Polish government." (unquote). (p. 363).
Ignacy Jan Paderewski opposed the eventual Minorities Treaty because the treaty did not confer similar rights to the Polish minority in Germany. In addition, he pointed out that Jews themselves disagreed whether special Jewish schools and official Jewish language (Yiddish) were necessary. Finally, the distinguishing of Jews from the rest of the Polish population, through special privileges, would only increase Polish resentment against Jews. (p. 356).

THE NON-NATIONALIST JEWS: WHY POLISH JEWS GENERALLY RESISTED ASSIMILATION (AN AMORPHOUS TERM)
The Endeks pointed out "assimilation" has varying connotations, and that the assimilation of Jews into Polish society did not necessarily transform them into Poles. Interestingly, Janowsky arrived at essentially the same conclusion about the nebulous implications of assimilation: (quote) The "assimilationists", however, did not constitute a definite party, for many of them had little in common beyond an aversion for Jewish nationalism. Those who had discarded religious beliefs and practices manifested no interest whatever in specifically Jewish problems. Others remained associated with the Jewish group in spiritual and charitable affairs...The "assimilationists" differed widely in their political and social views. They were even divided in their cultural and national allegiance. (unquote). (p. 33).
The resistance of many Polish Jews to assimilation is often blamed on the uncongenial Catholic-majoritarian atmosphere in Poland ("Polish Jews had nothing to assimilate to."). The real reason was the desire of many Jews to maintain an extreme distinctness, particularism, and cultural separatism, as evidenced by their rejection of even the pluralism offered by the secular western nations. Nahum Sokolow, a member of a Jewish delegation at the Paris Peace Conference, made this obvious. Janowsky writes, (quote) Sokolow also maintained that 85% of the Jews of Poland knew no Polish, but spoke Hebrew or Yiddish. They possessed a communal life with flourishing educational, social and charitable institutions. Mere emancipation of the western type would destroy, in his view, this communal life. (unquote). (p. 300).                         PART 8  Finally, the old religious-based antagonisms did not derive solely from Poland's Catholicism. The indisputable racism that is part of the Jewish religion was also a cause:Jewish Identity in Early Rabbinic Writings (Arbeiten Zur Geschichte Des Antiken Judentums Und Des Urchristentums... by Sacha Stern (Aug 1, 1997) British Jewish Scholar Comes Close to Admitting the Jewish Racism in the Talmud. He Also Features Early Jewish Universalism. The author is Professor of Rabbinic Judaism at University College London. He identifies himself as an Orthodox Jew. (p. xxii). Formats   Price   New Used Hardcover       $390.69 $532.90   REVIEW by Jan Peczkis on August 29, 2015 Format: Hardcover   In his assiduous analysis of rabbinical literature, author Sacha Stern employs Talmudic sources (Mishna, Tosefta, Yerushalmi, and Bavli), many different Midrashim, and other sources. (pp. xi-xii). As part of my review of this and related works, I have regularly consulted the online Babylonian Talmud (Soncino edition), and have included specific references to it below. All my specific references below are from the Bavli, in CAPS, and from this online source.Let us first put my review in perspective. Volumes upon volumes of books have been written by Jews (and not a few non-Jews) on the need for Christians and Poles, for example, to "be mature", to "get over the heroic narrative", to "come to terms with the past" and even to "confront the past". Jews should be held to the same standard. At least that is my opinion. This book is a step in that direction.
As for anti-Semitism, the reader must ask this honest question: What causes anti-Semitism--the candor about certain Talmudic verses, or the nearly-total exemption of criticism of Jews for them? Could taboo topics about Jews actually encourage the proliferation of anti-Semitic literature--with its strident, nonobjective portrayals of the Talmud, and its unsubstantiated and frequently-bizarre accusations against Jews?

IMPLICATIONS OF RACISM
  Racism can be defined as a strong self-aggrandizement of one's own people and/or a consistently contemptuous attitude towards other peoples. Both are graphically obvious in this book.
Let us keep this oft-emotional matter in perspective. Jewish racism and Jewish universalism are both real, and one does not negate the other. In addition, neither one of them defines, or represents the totality of, Judaism. For a detailed study of Jewish universalism, please click on, and read my review, of Compassion for Humanity in the Jewish Tradition. See also my analysis of Jewish universalism towards the end of this review.
The controversial Talmudic verses are not "mistranslated" or "misunderstood". Nor are they just the private opinions of one or two rabbis. Nor are they "cherry picked" out of the Talmud by anti-Semites. Instead of all this, there are very many verses involved, and moreover they come together in the form of specific, irrefutable THEMES. I specify some of these themes below. Moreover, the themes do not "float around" in isolation from each other. Instead, they coalesce together, forming a systematic pattern of Jewish self-exaltation and a systematic pattern of denigration of the gentiles.
Author Sacha Stern actually uses the term racism in reference to rabbinic Jewish thinking, albeit in quotations, as he comments, (quote) In way of apologetics, we may note that unlike other forms of "racism", the early rabbinic view of Israel as superior to the non-Jews was almost never called upon to vindicate the use of violence or exploitation. (unquote). (p. 4). [This is a separate issue, and is debatable. For instance, please see my review of Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence (Jews, Christians, and Muslims from the Ancient to the Modern World)].
As part of his Talmudic apologetic, Stern also points out that, in his words, the "racial" prejudice of this kind, and rabbinic "racism" (his words "racial", and "racist" in quotes) were common currency in the Late Antique near eastern world. (pp. 4-5). [However, the racism of one people does not negate or excuse the racism of another people. See first comment.]

ANDREAS EISENMENGER AND HIS Entdecktes Judenthum
The author is more critical of Eisenmenger's motives than of his findings. Stern quips, (quote) The passages I have quoted already suggest that the rabbinic image of the non-Jews is xenophobic in the extreme. Indeed, rabbinic sources assume, as we shall see in the course of this study, that non-Jews are intrinsically wicked and dedicated to murder, sexual offences and idolatry (see section I.3.A). They suggest, besides, that whereas the Jews are akin to angels, non-Jews are akin to animals (section I.4.A). Much of this material has been quoted by anti-Semitic writers of the early modern period--not least, by Eisenmenger in his ENTDECKTES JUDENTHUM--with the sole purpose of vilifying the Jews and their religion...Whilst his quotation of original sources is generally reliable, his translation and interpretation of them not always are. Eisenmenger makes no effort to hide his anti-Jewish stance and motives. (unquote). (p. 4).
Stern repeats the argument, based on Jacob Katz and his book, Exclusiveness and Tolerance: Studies in Jewish-Gentile Relations in Medieval and Modern Times (Scripta Judaica, 3), that medieval Talmudic scholars had ruled that the negative portrayals of non-Jews pertained only to the pagans of Antiquity. They are no longer binding. (p. 5). [Katz is less than convincing. See my review.]

THE TORAH ONCE OFFERED TO NON-JEWS?
How did Jews become the Chosen People in the first place? Stern cites Israeli scholar Joseph Heinemann. He suggested that the teaching, that God offered the Torah to many nations but only Israel would accept it (e. g, AVODA ZARAH 2b), was an invention designed to ward off gentile criticism of the exclusiveness of Jews as the Chosen People of God. (p. 211).

THEME: JEWISH SUPREMACIST THINKING ON GOD'S CREATIVE PURPOSES
Stern provides numerous, specific rabbinic citations for all the points he raises, as he writes, (quote) The world could not exist without Israel. It was created for the sake of Israel, and is maintained entirely through their merit. Without Israel, there would be no rain or sunrise. Israel brings light to the world. All the blessings in the world are due to Israel. This is because the Almighty attends only to Israel, whence the rest of the world draws indirect benefit. Therefore, the nations could not exist without Israel...This "ethnocentric", highly self-centered worldview, confirms the extent to which the authors of our sources are exclusively concerned with their own identity. The notion that the "others" (the nations, the world) are subordinate to the "self" (Israel) and owe it their existence, suggests a dialectical relationship of self and other where the other serves no purpose, and has no other RAISON D'ETRE, but to define and enhance the essence of the self. (unquote). (p. 46). [Isn't that exactly what racism is all about?]
The world-incapable-of-existing-except-for-Israel Talmudic verse is from TAANITH 3b, and the remaining verses are extra-Talmudic. Stern fails to mention the verse in BERAKOT 32b, wherein the stars were created for the Jews and only for the Jews. Please click on, and read my detailed review, of The Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakot.

THEME: ONGOING JEWISH SUPREMACY OVER ALL OTHER PEOPLES
Again, Stern provides numerous, specific rabbinic citations for all the points he raises, as he writes, (quote) Righteous and angelic, the superiority of Israel over the nations should be by now self-evident. Rabbinic sources do not shy away from stating that Israel are the choicest of all nations, the best, the greatest, the highest, the most beloved of the Almighty. One Jew outweighs all the nations put together. Appropriately, every morning is recited the daily blessing "that He has not made me a non-Jew". This superiority is said, in Talmudic and other sources, to provide substantial benefits to Israel...A non-Jew who hits a Jew is punishable by death..."Israel are mighty before the nations", like God, they are masters over all the inhabitants of earth...This superiority appears to represent a subjective, "internal" truth, transcending, on some other plane, the experiences of the outside world. (unquote). (pp. 42-44).
The Jew-hitting verse is from SANHEDRIN 58b, and the verse in which Jews thank God for not making them gentiles is from MENAHOT 43b. The remaining verses, for the foregoing quoted statements, are extra-Talmudic.The Jewish privileges are, at least to some extent, ones that come solely from the fact of being born Jewish. For instance, the Divine Presence (the SHEKHINA) rests upon Israel even when they are impure. (YOMA 56b). (p. 41).
In addressing the disparity between fancied great Jewish power and the lack of it in reality, Stern comments, (quote) An attempt to rationalize this contradiction may be found in the Talmudic claim that were it not for the TORAH which restrains the Jews, no nation would be able to resist them. (BETZA 25b). (unquote). (p. 44).

THEME: JEWS ARE BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE
Although this inflammatory theme is strongly denied in discussions of Jewish Chosenness, it is inescapably true. Stern writes, (quote) As well shall see in later sections, the WHOLE of Israel is described indiscriminately as righteous and angelic, just as the WHOLE of "the nations" are wicked and akin to animals. (unquote). (emphasis in original). (p. 7). Furthermore, (quote) The righteousness of Israel stands in direct contrast with the wickedness of the nations...The nature of this righteousness, however, is taken for granted more often than it is described. (unquote). (pp. 30-31).
Exceptions to these foregoing themes do not invalidate them. Thus, Stern brings up "wicked" Jews and "righteous non-Jews", but then stresses this salient fact, (quote) Broadly speaking, these exceptions are presented as marginal in our sources, and do not affect the general, rabbinic image of the non-Jews and Israel. (unquote). (p. 7).
The polarity between Jews and gentiles is almost absolute. Israel and the nations are juxtaposed with light and darkness [PESAHIM 103b]. This is repeated in extra-Talmudic literature. (p. 2).
Now consider antigoyism (my term) in more detail. The author elaborates on the rabbinical teachings about the abject moral inferiority of the GOYIM relative to the Jews, with the following introduction to this subject (quote) As we shall see, the wickedness of the non-Jews is taken for granted in our sources rather than actually reported and observed: in this respect, it is a purely "cultural", "theoretical" construct. Nevertheless, the rabbinic image of the non-Jew takes on a reality of its own which forms the background to a number of Halakhic rulings. (unquote). (p. 22).
THE ME: ANTIGOYISM: GENTILES ARE ANIMALS--VIRTUALLY
In some respects, all humans, according to the Talmud are like animals, and some features of a specific animal may even be applied to Israel. (p. 33-34). However, Stern points out that such comparisons are superficial in scope and significance. (p. 34). In addition, the fact that human-animal comparisons are not always derogatory (p. 34), of course, means that they usually are.
In like manner, while some comparisons of animals and gentiles are superficial, others are clearly not. They form distinct themes. Stern comments, (quote) Some passages suggest a more general affinity between non-Jews and animals...These comparisons are not restricted to any specific, superficial feature: they refer to the non-Jewish person AS A WHOLE, and suggest that the latter is generally akin, in his lowliness, to animals. General, all-inclusive associations of this kind are common with reference to dogs...It is quite clear that these statements aim at conveying that the non-Jews share the GENERAL features of the animal world, and particularly the lowliness of dogs. (unquote). (Emphasis in original). (p. 35). The foregoing is based on specified non-Talmudic writings.
The author brings up Ezekiel 23:20, and how this reference to Egyptians had been applied, by the Talmud, in his words, indiscriminately to all non-Jews, as in reference to gentiles as donkeys (notably BERAKOT 25b and BERAKOT 58a). Stern assesses this, (quote) Indeed, far from treating this affinity as mere, figurative metaphor, the BABYLONIAN TALMUD treats it as a tangible and concrete reality to the extent that it requires PRACTICAL, Halakhic significance. (unquote). (Emphasis in original). (p. 37).
Clearly, Stern goes beyond the usual Talmudic apologetic about Halakhic fatherhood, which would essentially have us believe that the donkey-gentile equation was nothing more than a fancy way of expressing disapproval of Jewish-gentile marriages.

With reference to BERAKOT 25b, Stern writes, (quote) ...the suggestion that the non-Jew may have been treated IN CONCRETE PRACTICE as equal to the donkey suggests far more than mere metaphorical similarity between them. Finally, one passage in the Babylonian Talmud suggests that as donkeys, the CONCRETE PHYSIOLOGY of the non-Jews is different from the Jews'...[NIDA 45a] Here, more than anywhere else, we find that the affinity of non-Jews with donkeys may be treated as tangible and hence, as a form of VIRTUAL IDENTITY. (unquote). (Emphasis in original). (p. 38).
Finally, the equation of non-Jews with donkeys has sexual connotations. For instance, with reference to BERAKOT 58a, intercourse with non-Jewish women amounts to bestiality. (p. 39, 165). This, of course, further reinforces the fact that gentiles are virtual donkeys.

On a separate issue, non-Jewish slaves of Jews have an affinity with animals. (KIDDUSHIN 22b). (pp. 96-99).
However, the entire foregoing discussion is rather academic. The persistent equating of GOYIM and animals is racist on its face, and the racism is not dependent upon whether the equation is literal, metaphoric, or somewhere in between.

THEME: DEFENDING JEWISH EXCLUSIVENESS
The rabbinical authorities, at the time, tended to doubt both the sincerity and permanence of gentile conversions to Judaism. (pp. 93-95).
Author Sacha Stern touches on several rabbinic verses that call for the killing, or allowance for death, of gentiles. He calls them variously idiosyncratic, heavily censored, and allowing a Jew to escape punishment for killing a gentile but not thereby allowing a Jew to kill a gentile. (p. 4). He does not elaborate.
On the other hand, the command to execute a gentile who observes the Sabbath [SANHEDRIN 58b](pp. 207-208), or even one who studies the Torah [SANHREDRIN 59a], in Stern's opinion, stems from the following, (quote) ...the non-Jews must be PREVENTED from engaging in them, lest this leads to the erosion of the distinctiveness of Israel. (unquote). (Emphasis in original.) (p. 215).

TALMUDIC TERMS FOR PAGANS AND CHRISTIANS
AVODA ZARA ("pagan", "idolater")(p. 9) is used throughout rabbinic literature. In fact, Stern suggest that it is used so broadly that it is functionally a loose (though inexact) synonym for non-Jew. (pp. 196-197).According to some heavily-censored passages in the Bavli, AVODA ZARA can apply to Christians. (p. 28). MIN/MINIM does, or can, refer to Christians. (p. 9, 28, 107-108). Some Talmudic verses defending the Torah are, or may be, covert anti-Christian polemics. (pp. 74-75, 210).AKUM does not appear in the early manuscripts. It is apparently an invention of censors. (p. 9).
Did Jews use code words for peoples? Yes. In the Bible, Edom referred to Idumaea, but, in the rabbinic period, it was applied to Rome. (p. 19).

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN: JEWISH UNIVERSALISM
Modern forms of Jewish universalism teach that gentiles can be righteous before God, moreover on a large scale, based solely on their ethical conduct, and can freely do so outside of Judaism. As elaborated below, the early rabbinical concept of Jewish universalism was almost the opposite.
Stern comments, (quote) In the TOSEFTA, R. Yehoshua is attributed the view that some exceptional non-Jews are righteous (TZADIKIM) are have a share in the world to come (while R. Eliezer maintains that no non-Jews have any share in it.) [SANHEDRIN 105a]. (unquote). (p. 30). The author then cites a variety of extra-Talmudic rabbinical literature to show that righteous gentiles were thought of as uncommon, and as needing to convert to Judaism. He concludes that, (quote) It seems that to be non-Jewish and righteous are so inherently contradictory that the only viable option, for these exceptional individuals, is to convert. Which confirms the adage: exceptions prove the rule. (unquote). (p. 30).
Modern concepts of Jewish universalism teach that the Noahide laws enable a gentile to be righteous by obeying only 7 laws, while Jews have the much greater duty of obeying 613 laws. Early rabbinical concepts, on the other hand, saw this situation as one that only deepened the chasm between Jew and gentile. For instance, it was stressed that the GOYIM were so ethically inferior to Jews that they were incapable of obeying even the 7 Noahide laws, let alone the 613 ones that Jews keep. (pp. 204-205; 215). Moreover, this meant, with some exceptions, that gentiles keeping the Noahide laws get no reward for doing so. [BAVA KAMMA 38a; AVODA ZARA 3a]. (pp. 205-206).
Rabbinic verses that praise the gentile who studies the Torah, comparing him to a high priest, refer to one who studies the Noahide laws. Otherwise, they are counteracted by the verses, noted earlier, that condemn gentile study of the Torah, even making it a capital crime. (p. 201, 212-213).
On another subject, the acceptance of gentiles in Jewish public worship is identified by Stern as an exception--in fact, virtually the only practice that Jews were willing to share with non-Jews. (p. 204). However, the later MIDRASHIM expressed hostility to this, even requesting the Almighty not to honor the prayers of non-Jews. (p. 203).
MISCELLANEOUS INTERESTING INFORMATION
Circumcision was not limited to the Jews, even in the Middle East. It was also practiced by some Arabs, and Gibeonites/Gabnonites (YEVAMOT 71a). (p. 206).Some commentators had taken SANHREDRIN 74a-b, and related teachings, as requiring Jews to wear distinctive clothing. Stern leans against this. (pp. 191-192).
As for Jewish resistance to assimilation, Stern brings up the Biblical prohibition against Jews adopting the ways of the nations (Leviticus 20:23). However, Halakhic prohibitions against specific forms of gentile-imitating acts were quite variable. (pp. 186-on).Pork is exceptionally abominable to Jews--so much so that Jews are cursed merely for breeding pigs. (BABA KAMA 82b). (p. 57).The Star of David has no basis in early rabbinical literature. It is mentioned in medieval Kabbalistic works, and only became a religious and political Jewish symbol in the late 18th century. (p. 86).

A TALMUDIC INSPIRATION FOR EXTREME JEWISH POLONOPHOBIA?
Author Sacha Stern elaborates how, in Jewish thinking, the Romans most embody the wickedness of the non-Jews. He comments, (quote) The only reason why they [Romans] do not completely exterminate the Jewish people (besides the fact that it would be impossible) is that they do not want to be called “the murderous kingdom”: PESACHIM 87b; AVODA ZARA 10b. (unquote). (p. 16).I was struck by the foregoing, because I hear it today! Some very anti-Polish Jews accuse Poles of having wanted to exterminate their Jews, but not doing it because of incompetence, and for not wanting to have the onus of “a nation of murderers”. Furthermore, according to this Polonophobic canard, once the Germans exterminated Poland’s Jews, the Poles were satisfied that the Nazis had done the work for them, and--better yet--that it was the Germans who went down in history “a nation or murderers”.
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