¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Katz argues that the social segregation of Jews in the Middle Ages and early modern period was caused both by external enforcement and internal choice, that Jews considered themselves as “temporary residents” wherever they were, “waiting for the final call.”4 The episode around the news of the false Messiah Sabbatai Zevi could support such an interpretation.5 The mindset of feeling like temporary residents could also explain why Jews made little effort to integrate with the host population. But this same attitude can also have a protective effect. If one accepts that one’s physical, economic, and social circumstances are of a tentative, transitory nature, sudden environmental or historic upheavals appear somewhat less of an existential crisis. Such an attitude might have made the Jews of Stühlingen better prepared to cope with their impending eviction and dispersion.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Over the past quarter millennium, society has come such a long way – whether through assimilation of the Jews6 or by general society’s progress towards a humanist multiculturalism – that today a Jewish congregation and a Catholic charity can work closely together to support a Muslim Syrian refugee family.
4Katz, “Tradition and Crisis,” 14.
5Zevi, see ch. 9, p.91.
6Elon, “The Pity of It All.”