There are few more complex and also baffling subjects than the nature of the Jewish People and Judaism as a fusion between a civilization and a community/people/nation. Even more enigmatic is the survival and frequent thriving of Judaism during more than three thousand years of continuous pluralistic existance under a great variety of radically different conditions and in very different political and cultural environments.
This collection by David Biale is an outstanding introduction and profile of this historic riddle, presenting in clear but scholarly sound narratives an overview of the dynamics of Jewish cultures (note the plural) with their shared cores and diverse envelopes. Further such books by Biale are to be eagerly expected, hopefully together with a comprehensive theoretic treatment providing deep understanding of the past and supplying a basis for predicting and trying to weave the future.
This book is strongly recommended to scholars and intellectuals concerned with the history and nature of the Jewish People and to decision makers and policy planners trying to assure its thriving together with contributions to changing global cultures in the future. This book is also essential reading for students of the dynamics of cultures.
Professor Yehezkel Dror. Founding President, the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (established by the Jewish Agency of Israel) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.