Judaism

After the Rescue: Jewish Identity and Community in by A. Buckser

By A. Buckser

In October of 1943, the Danish resistance rescued just about all of the Jews in Copenhagen from roundups via the occupying Nazis. within the years when you consider that, Jews became deeply engaged in a Danish tradition that provides only a few limitations of antisemitism or prejudice. This publication explores the questions that such inclusion increases for the Danish Jews, and what their solutions can let us know concerning the which means of faith, ethnicity and neighborhood in sleek society. Social scientists have lengthy argued that modernity poses demanding situations for standard ethnic groups, through breaking down the networks of locality, kinship, faith and career that experience held such groups jointly. For the Danish Jews, inclusion into the bigger society has resulted in expanding fragmentation, because the neighborhood has cut up right into a bewildering array of spiritual, social, and political factions. but it is still one in all Scandinavia's most important spiritual companies, and Jewishness continues to be principal to self-understanding for hundreds of thousands of its participants. How this has occurred - how the Jewish international has maintained its importance whereas wasting any experience of coherence or team spirit - indicates a brand new knowing of the which means of ethnic group in modern society.

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Additional resources for After the Rescue: Jewish Identity and Community in Contemporary Denmark

Sample text

The Community in Time ² 31 The Decree of March 29, 18148 In histories of the Danish Jews, March 29, 1814, stands out as an epochal date. There is little doubt that Jews of the time saw it in similar terms, and that many responded to it with jubilation. Given this response, it can be startling to read the decree itself, and to observe how little of the actual text concerns rights for Jews (Gold 1975). The main thrust of the decree, both in tone and weight of words, is the dismantling of the Jewish Community as a secular administrative agency.

They formed a distinct group, with a distinct culture, language, and legal status. The Danish guilds barred them from membership, closing off most occupations outside of commerce, and Jewish doctors could not treat Christian patients. The Danish legal system imposed a variety of special requirements on Jews, many of them based on its antagonism to the Jewish faith. A law of 1725, for example, forbade Jews to employ Christian servants, for fear that the servants might be either seduced or converted by their employers.

4 Jews were not forced to convert, but neither were they allowed to hold any sort of religious observances of their own. Burial in Christian cemeteries was likewise forbidden, and Jews who died in Denmark were transported to Altona for their funerals (Margolinsky 1958b: 42). As the communities became established, 22 ² After the Rescue however, and as their economic services became more valuable, they slowly gained some limited religious privileges. In Copenhagen, Jewish observance first became legal in 1684, when a court jeweler named Meyer Goldschmidt received permission to hold religious services in his home.

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