Cedars of Lebanon: A New Conception of Jewish History
The title Universal History of the Jewish People, is an unusual one. But, it fully corresponds to the content and scope of this unusual segment of the history of humanity. The term “universal” is applicable to the common history of the cultured nations of the world, as distinguished from the history of .the separate nations and countries. But the destiny of the Jews took such a turn that they possess their own-universal history, in the literal sense of that term, over nearly the entire area of the cultured world (save India and China) and throughout the historical life of humanity. Jewry represents a historical microcosm. It is thus possible to speak of a universal history of the Jewish people—Weltgeschichte des jüdischen Volkes, or Histoire universal du peuple juif.
Just as in a universal history of humanity, synthesis is the method that should prevail in a universal history of the Jews. To reveal the common paths of the historical life through the changing centuries and lands, to establish the organic relationships between these fractions of time and space in the three-thousand-year-old evolution of the nation—such is the chief problem of the historian in this case. Although dealing with material already compiled and more or less worked over, the historian who employs the method of synthesis is not relieved of the duty of independent analysis., He must weigh the sources and check the facts, which could not but be defective in correctness and completeness (thus perhaps giving rise to false generalizations) since they cover such a long period of time.
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