Assimilation and Its Discontents by Barry Rubin
While other peoples and nations took only from the new and foreign flow what was good for their existence, thereby preserving their individuality and uniqueness, the Jews suffered with the curse of appropriating all that was new and foreign like no others did, while repudiating all that was holiest and most authentic.
So wrote Pauline Wengeroff, a Russian Jewess, at the beginning of this century in her Memoirs of a Grandmother. Her words, a reaction to the tendencies of a particular class of Jews in czarist Russia, could have been voiced by many a despairing Jewish mother and grandmother throughout Europe and the Americas. For, in the last two centuries, Jews in remarkable numbers have indeed partially or totally distanced themselves from Jewish religious and cultural traditions.
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