Monday, December 13, 2010

Chapter 1 Prelude

Chapter 1 Prelude

Here Only to Rest
Conscious Jewish historic memory begins with Abraham and Gods first words ”Lech Lecha.”-Go, an emphatic go, get yourself out of your country, from your  kindred, and from your father’s home,” Movement, whether by act of God or by human brute force, has been a hallmark of Jewish existence.
Two millennia ago, some Jews made their way into the Italian peninsula, some as merchants, some as prisoners in the course of the two great rebellions against the Roman Empire, while others made their way to the Iberian peninsula. Among them where the progenitors of my family.
Gradually, these Jews made their way from Italy  into the realms of Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire. This became the heartland of Ashkenazic ( Central and Eastern European) Jewry and here we have the first flowering of the great European school of Rabbinic study, as embodied in the figures of Rashi and his “ Eineklach”
( grandchildren).
It has been estimated that no more than 3000 families comprised the core of this dynamic Jewish community spred between what has become France and Germany. “ Lech Lecha”—this is what they were told, again, this time by rioting Crusaders or rapacious kings eager to seize hold of Jewish properties.
 . . .

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