The Study of Man: A Broader Approach to Jewish History
A glance at Jewish Jerusalem today reveals an astonishing variety of social groups that seem to live their lives in more or less separate compartments. Some-times this fact is brought into the limelight of the daily press, as when the ultra-orthodox Guardians of the Sabbath clash with other parts of the population; more often, the great gulf between the worlds existing side by side in the same city receives little attention. Yet engage a number of Jerusalemites on such subjects as education, religious tradition, or Arab refugees, and you will realize that the wide diversity in manners, customs, dress, and taste, is but the outer form of a disparity in spiritual approach and categories of thought.
Thus it is possible to come across German Jews with a conception of citizenship reminiscent of Prussian tradition, anxious to conform strictly to the official line taken by the authorities, as if they were still laboring under the dominance of Hitlerism and Wilhelmism; or Jews from Poland or Russia whose naive pride in rational philosophy and the demonstration of atheism serves as living evidence to the historian that for the Jews of Eastern Europe, Enlightenment came much later than in the West; or to find other communities, of Oriental Jews, whose life testifies to the fact that their period of Enlightenment is only just dawning. Leave Jerusalem for a trip to the collective settlements of the Emek, attend their meetings and visit their classrooms, and you can study not only the problems of 20th-century socialism but also those of 19th-century labor movements, for these problems have remained strangely preserved within the minds of many of the older pioneers.
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