Between Jerusalem and Benares: Comparative Studies in by Hananya Goodman

By Hananya Goodman

From the again hide: "This booklet stands on the crossroads among Jerusalem and Benares and opens an extended awaited dialog among historical spiritual traditions. It represents the 1st severe try through a bunch of eminent students of Judaic and Indian stories to take heavily the cross-cultural resonances one of the Judaic and Hindu traditions."

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Sample text

There are three groups of Jews who settled in India at different times: the "white Jews" of Cochin, on the Southwest coast of the Indian subcontinent, who are said to have settled there nearly 2,000 years ago, in an area which in those times was still part of the same country as that of the Tamils; the "Bene Israel" of the Marathi-speaking area east of Bombay; and the comparatively recent Jewish immigrants from Iraq. The latter group, who have a good Jewish education, played the most notable role.

To repeat what Fran~ois Hartog said in his introduction to a recent study of Greek images of Egypt, my perspective does not involve the degree of historicity or truthfulness of Jewish appreciations of India, but of the internal logic within Judaism itself that structured and gave meaning to them. 4 This is because in terms of the creative imagination the Jews had another, indirect acquaintance with India: through the intermediacy of the Greek historians who wrote on India. Philo of Alexandria, citing an apocryphal letter from Calanus to Alexander (Quod omnis probus 9396), repeats and interprets certain traditions of Greek historiography relating to Alexander.

What sensible person would trust a dream? Why look, if 1 had been one to go trusting dreams, 1 should this very minute be doing just the opposite. 1 should have made such a pilgrimage as this silly one of yours, only in the opposite direction, but no doubt with the same result. " He was a sympathetic officer, for all of his fierce mustache, and the Rabbi felt his heart warm to him. "I dreamt of a voice," said the Bohemian, Christian officer of the guard, "and it spoke to me of Cracow, commanding me to go thither and to search there for a great treasure in the house of a Jewish rabbi whose name would be Eisik son of Jekel.

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Categories: Comparative Religion