Krystyna Stebnicka, Identity of the Diaspora. Jews in Asia Minor in the Imperial Period
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Living in the diaspora is deeply rooted within the Jewish identity: dispersion of their own people and desire to return to the land of the ancestors both formed the identity of those Jews who lived away from Palestine as well as of those who dwelled in Palestine and in the later Israel. The Jews must have dealt with a predominantly negative image of the diaspora, shelilat ha-galut, from the earliest of times, but it eventually happened to be an important formative factor of their nationality. Although the idea of being ‘the People of the Book’, who could only nd home in the sacred text and not in some particular land,1 might seem attractive at rst, the diaspora has nonetheless been seen as a form of exile and a complete loss of homeland. Such loss, quite understandably, gave birth to hope for return which culminated in the Zionist movement of the 20th century.
|Review from Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2016.07.27|