Synopses & Reviews
From the bestselling authors of andlt;iandgt;The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaismandlt;/iandgt;, a compelling discussion of the dangerous rise in antisemitism during the twenty-first century.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;The very word andlt;iandgt;Jewandlt;/iandgt; continues to arouse passions as does no other religious, national, or political name. Why have Jews been the object of the most enduring and universal hatred in history? Why did Hitler consider murdering Jews more important than winning World War II? Why has the United Nations devoted more time to tiny Israel than to any other nation on earth?andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;In this seminal study, Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin attempt to uncover and understand the roots of antisemitismand#8212;from the ancient world to the Holocaust to the current crisis in the Middle East. andlt;iandgt;Why the Jews?andlt;/iandgt; offers new insights and unparalleled perspectives on some of the most recent, pressing developments in the contemporary world, including:andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;-The replicating of Nazi antisemitism in the Arab worldandlt;BRandgt; -The pervasive anti-Zionism/antisemitism on university campusesandlt;BRandgt; -The rise of antisemitism in Europeandlt;BRandgt; -Why the United States and Israel are linked in the minds of antisemitesandlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Clear, persuasive, and thought-provoking, andlt;iandgt;Why the Jews?andlt;/iandgt; is must reading for anyone who seeks to understand the unique role of the Jews in human history.
This fully revised edition of this classic volume provides an unparalleled perspective on one of the most urgent matters facing the world today--the dangerous rise in Antisemitism around the world. In a major revision of their seminal book on the origins and continuing pervasiveness of hatred of the Jews, Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin apply their in-depth knowledge of history to the headline-making events currently galvanizing the public and the media around the world. In addition to rewriting much of the original text, they have added new chapters. One explains why lies about Israel (the "Jenin massacre, " for example) and about Jews ("4,000 Jews did not go to work at the World Trade Center on 9/11")--are so widely believed. Another explains one of the most important developments in the contemporary world--the unique hatred of America and Israel. Yet another deals with the phenomenon of Jews who are Antisemites. The authors reject economic, scapegoat, and all other explanations of Antisemitism that do not acknowledge the uniqueness of Jew-hatred and its response to the challenges posed by Jews, Judaism, and the doctrine of Jewish chosenness. Prager and Telushkin discuss the various forms Antisemitism has taken throughout history, giving special attention to its expression in the rhetoric of Islamic and leftist opponents of Israel today, as well as the impact of Jewish Antisemitism. In a persuasive final chapter, they show that Antisemitism poses mortal danger to moral non-Jews.
This fully revised edition of this classic volume provides an unparalleled perspective on one of the most urgent matters facing the world today--the dangerous rise in anti-Semitism around the world.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 199-230) and index.
From the bestselling authors of The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism comes a completely revised and updated edition of a modern classic that reflects the dangerous rise in antisemitism during the twenty-first century.
The very word Jew continues to arouse passions as does no other religious, national, or political name. Why have Jews been the object of the most enduring and universal hatred in history? Why did Hitler consider murdering Jews more important than winning World War II? Why has the United Nations devoted more time to tiny Israel than to any other nation on earth?
In this seminal study, Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin attempt to uncover and understand the roots of antisemitism -- from the ancient world to the Holocaust to the current crisis in the Middle East. This postmillennial edition of Why the Jews? offers new insights and unparalleled perspectives on some of the most recent, pressing developments in the contemporary world, including:
The replicating of Nazi antisemitism in the Arab world
The pervasive anti-Zionism/antisemitism on university campuses
The rise of antisemitism in Europe
Why the United States and Israel are linked in the minds of antisemites
Clear, persuasive, and thought provoking, Why the Jews? is must reading for anyone who seeks to understand the unique role of the Jews in human history.
About the Author
Dennis Prager, one of Americaandrsquo;s most respected thinkers, is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and syndicated columnist. He has written four books, including the #1 bestseller andlt;iandgt;Happiness Is a Serious Problem.andlt;/iandgt; He has lectured on all seven continents and may be contacted through his website, DennisPrager.com.
Reading Group Guide
Reading Group Guide
1. Early on, the authors state that they have rewritten this book "in order to counteract the dejudaization of Jew-hatred." How do they accomplish this? In what ways do they prove this "dejudaization," and how do they counteract it? Is this counteracting a matter of defining the problem, of offering solutions, or both?
2. What were your thoughts about the roots and nature of antisemitism before reading the book? Did those thoughts change at all, and if so, how? Which arguments -- historic or current -- had the greatest impact on your understanding of the situation?
3. Prager and Telushkin write: "Economic depressions do not explain gas chambers." Explain what they mean by this, in a larger sense. Do you agree entirely? How does the book generally deal with the relationship of cause and effect? In what other global conflicts have transparent rationalizations been offered for abhorrent behavior?
4. Discuss the idea of "non-Jewish Jews." How are these Jews defined, and what is their role in the history of antisemitism? Do the authors believe non-Jewish Jews have helped to ease or exacerbate the effects of Jew-hatred? Why?
5. Voltaire, Luther and Chaucer, among others, are shown to be antisemitic. How surprising is it that these figures -- celebrated through time for the achievements of their minds -- would harbor such deep feelings of intolerance? Or, as the authors put it, "How could the rational and tolerant Voltaire be so irrational and illiberal when it came to the Jews?" Was this question answered to your satisfaction? How do you personally reconcile the deep flaws of the many who have produced brilliant or moving works throughout history while also voicing such irrational hatreds?
6. It's argued that Voltaire helped foster "the idea that the admission ticket for a Jew into Western society was his willingness to stop being a Jew." This is an obvious contradiction, and an impossible situation for a Jew. Is there any scenario in which you could justify renunciation of personal ideals for social comfort? How reasonable is the idea of Jewish assimilation as a solution to antisemitism?
7. The authors write: "Most modern Jews, themselves secular, have believed that the demise of religion would lead to the end of antisemitism. Yet the twentieth century, the most secular century in history, has been the most antisemitic." Do you believe increased secularization of society actually increases antisemitism as a general rule? If so, why? If not, what specifically about the 20th century created that correlation?
8. How did the book affect your understanding of the crisis in the Middle East as it stands today? Did your opinion of the troubles there change significantly, and in what way? What argument or evidence caused this shift in your thinking?
9. How are the differences between Nazism and Christian antisemitism approached and defined by the authors? What application do these differences have in illuminating the larger picture?
10. America is offered as an example of one of the only truly Judeo-Christian societies. Why have Jews been able to fit into American culture with relative ease, compared to other countries around the world -- even other democracies? How do the authors link the inspiration behind hatred of America and Israel in certain parts of the world, and are the reasons for this link convincing to you?
11. The book contends that, "the further Left one goes" on the political spectrum, "the greater the antisemitism." Did this idea strike you as counter-intuitive, and how so? Do you believe it's true, based on the evidence offered?