Eyewitness to Jewish History
"It's been a long and glorious-and sometimes tragic-4,000-year run for the Jewish people. That magnificent panorama is on display in Eyewitness to Jewish History. This, however, is no ordinary history book. Instead of a historian telling the story, Rabbi Benjamin Blech . . . allows the actors in this long-running play to speak for themselves."
-Washington Jewish Week
Prepare to feel the joy and pain of the Jewish experience as you never have before. In Eyewitness to Jewish History, Rabbi Benjamin Blech takes you aboard a literary time machine in which you'll do more than read about major events in Jewish history-you'll witness them, take part in them, and feel their deep and lasting impact.
Featuring hundreds of excerpts from diaries, journals, letters, newspaper accounts, public testimony, official communications, and ancient documents such as the Torah, this unique chronicle provides memorable snapshots of daily life from biblical times to the modern day. These vivid and passionately written accounts, arranged in chronological order, transport you across space and time to witness crucial events from the birth of the Jewish people and the building and destruction of the two Temples to the Golden Age of Spain, the horrors of the Holocaust, the founding of the modern State of Israel, and important steps in the ongoing effort to achieve peace in the Middle East.
Table of Contents
BOOK I: The Biblical Period: 2000–538 B.C.E.
1. In the Beginning.
2. Welcome to the Promised Land.
3. In the Days of the Kings.
4. A Kingdom Divided, a Temple Destroyed.
BOOK II: The Second Temple Period: 515 B.C.E.–70 C.E.
5. “These Bones Shall Rise Again”.
6. The Hebrews and the Hellenists.
7. Religious Ferment: Different Visions of Service to God.
8. “Veni, Vidi, Vici”: Rome and Jerusalem.
BOOK III: The First Millennium: 70 C.E.–1000 C.E.
9. Struggling to Survive.
10. The Age of the Talmud.
11. The Challenge of Islam: Mohammed and the Caliphs.
12. Different Kinds of Jews: The Karaites and the Khazars.
BOOK IV: Late Medieval Times: 1000–1700s.
13. “It Was the Best of Times”: The Golden Age of Spain.
14. “It Was the Worst of Times”: The Church and the Jews.
15. “Get Out and Stay Out”: The Decrees of Expulsion.
16. The Renaissance: New Beginnings.
17. The Three Spiritual Revolutions.
BOOK V: The Age of Emancipation: 1700s–1800s.
18. America the Beautiful.
19. “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité”: The Winds of Change Buffet Western Europe.
20. The Lingering Curse of Anti-Semitism.
21. Zionism: “To Dream the Impossible Dream”.
BOOK VI: Modern Times: The Twentieth Century to the Present.
22. “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor . . .”: The American Melting Pot.
23. The Horrors of the Holocaust.
24. Welcome Home: Israel Reborn.
25. War—and Peace? Hopes for the Future.
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