Jewish Education and History
Continuity, crisis and change
Translated by David Aberbach, David Aberbach
Routledge – 2009 – 224 pages
Series: Routledge Jewish Studies Series
Moshe Aberbach (1924-2007) was a leading educator and scholar in Jewish studies, specialising in the field of Jewish education in the talmudic period. This book draws on a representative selection of his writings over a fifty year period, and includes essays on Saadia Gaon and Maimonides, coverage of biblical and talmudic studies, and discussions of the roots of religious anti-Zionism and of the Lubavitch messianic movement in the context of similar movements in Jewish history.
Focusing on the history of Jewish education and linking the Roman destruction of the Jewish state in 70 CE with Jewish survival after the Holocaust, and how survival of both depended on a strong system of education and the moral example set by teachers, the book explores the vital importance of education to Jewish survival from biblical times to the present. The book includes an autobiographical memoir of Moshe Aberbach’s childhood in Vienna, as well as a biographical Foreword by his son, David. It will be of great interest to Bible scholars and students of Jewish Studies, History, the Holocaust and Jewish social psychology.
Moshe Aberbach: A Biographical Foreword David Aberbach Introduction: The Origins of Jewish Education in the Ancient World Part 1: Essays 1. Aaron, Jeroboam, and the Golden Calves 2. Joseph and his Brothers and the History of the Twelve Tribes 3. Anti-Hellenism in the Book of Daniel 4. Imperial Greek Freedmen and the Fall of the Jewish State, 70 CE 5. Herod and Josephus: Patriots or Traitors? 6. Opposition to the Prophets in the Talmud 7. Pharaoh and Roman Egypt in Rabbinic Literature 8. King Hezekiah and Judah Hanasi: Messianic Links 9. The Rabbis, Education and the Obliteration of Class 10. Charismatic and Anti-Charismatic Elements in Judaism 11. Saadia Gaon: the Struggle for Jewish Unity 12. Maimonides: Myth and Reality 13. Ancient Roots of European Anti-Semitism and Jewish Patriotism 14. Abraham Geiger and Samson Raphael Hirsch 15. On Being a Jewish Historian 16. The Roots of Religious anti-Zionism 17. Halakhah and the Modern World: the Question of Smoking 18. Demented Messianists and Modern Secularists Part 2: Viennese Memoir, 1924-38 1. A Viennese upbringing 2. Father 3. Mother 4. Family history and legend 5. My parents and me 6. Hebrew teaching and holidays 7. Relatives and friends 8. School 9. The Chajesrealgymnasium (1934-1938) 10. My schoolmates 11. Under Nazi rule (March-December 1938) 12. Kindertransport
Moshe Aberbach (1924-2007) was Emeritus Professor of Jewish History and Literature, Baltimore Hebrew University. Born in Vienna, he came to England in 1938 in a Kindertransport. He studied Ancient History and Hebrew at Leeds University and received his Ph.D. (1959) from London University for a study of Jewish education in the time of the Talmud, later published in Hebrew. Among his other publications are books on Targum, Jewish labor in the talmudic period, and (with his son, David) the Roman-Jewish wars.
David Aberbach is Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature, McGill University, Montreal. He has published books on the Hebrew writers Mendele Mocher Sefarim, Bialik and Agnon; and his most recent book is Jewish Cultural Nationalism (Routledge).