toldot, Volume 8 (2010)
Doron Mendels/Arye Edrei:
Zur Spaltung der antiken jüdischen Welt
Translated from English by Michael Dewey.
With a foreword by Dan Diner
159 pp., paperback
Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010
Price: 28,00 € (D)
ISBN 978-3-647-35098-1 (e-book)
Price: 22,99 € (D)
The book reflects the dramatic split between the Western and Eastern Jewish Diaspora, caused by the lack of a unifying system of textual communication, leading to the continuous disappearance of Western Jewry in late antiquity.
The destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by the Romans about 70 CE led to a split in the Jewish world, to the development of an Eastern and a Western Judaism. Utilizing numerous Jewish and non-Jewish sources, the historian Doron Mendels and the legal scholar Arye Edrei provide a painstaking account of the dramatic consequences this bifurcation had for Judaism. More than as a result of language barriers, the unity of Judaism was severed due to the crystallizing of two disparate worlds of life and knowledge. In the East, rabbinical Judaism arose, with its own canon of texts and the oral tradition it created, while Western Judaism remained bound to the Bible. Cut off from developments in the East, Western Judaism was exposed to Christian missionizing.