The Non-Jewish Individual Essay

The Non-Jewish Individual Essay

Length: 1754 words (5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Non-Jewish Individual
Jewish history is a study of a people in exile. Since the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, the experience of the Jewish individual in relation to non-Jewish society has often been that of an outsider looking in. In addition, the distinct Jewish culture, religion, and philosophy identifiably marked the Jews as a separate people. Although this demarcation exposed the Jews to many negative ideological trends, Isaac Deutscher’s “The Non-Jewish Jew” argues that this marginalization enabled the great thinkers of the 19th and 20th centuries to revolutionize the European continent. As the title suggests, the non-Jewish Jews were individuals that abandoned Judaism. Deutscher argues that the historical exclusion imbued Jewish people with the innate perspective of the external critic. When the individuals liberated themselves from the ideological shackles of Judaism this now double marginalization provided the perspective of the extreme outsider. Once freed from both the restrictions of Jewish and Christian ideology they were then able to reinterpret society and develop the theories that would revolutionize the world. Deutscher asserts that the famous non-Jewish Jews such as Spinoza, Heine, Marx, and others were representatives of this perspective. In essence, their independence from society enabled them to criticize and fundamentally change the ideological landscape of Europe in ways that other thinkers bound by Christian or Jewish ideology could not. However, with an analysis of Deutscher’s argument through Franz Kafka’s “A Report to an Academy” it becomes clear that his “Non-Jewish Jews” were not only dependent upon society, but also more importantly they were not actually Jewish.
Initially, Kakfa’s “...


... middle of paper ...


...by the subjects of Deutscher’s “The Non-Jewish Jew” are reflected and exhibited in Deutscher’s work. His assertion that Jews have a special ability to critically analyze society because of their historical isolation supports the same race based ideology that the historical figures worked against. Additionally, the association of Marx, Heine, and the others to this racially decided independence from society fails to acknowledge their deep connection to their non-Jewish culture. Therefore, through an analysis of Deutscher’s work through the context of Kafka’s “A Report to an Academy” it becomes apparent that Deutscher undermines his argument by failing to appropriately state the relevance of the historical figures connection to society and most importantly, by allowing racial inflections to manipulate his perspective of his subject revolutionary individuals.




Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Holocaust: Non-Jewish Victims Essay

- After Germany lost World War I, it was in a national state of humiliation. Their economy was in the drain, and they had their hands full paying for the reparations from the war. Then a man named Adolf Hitler rose to the position of Chancellor and realized his potential to inspire people to follow. Hitler promised the people of Germany a new age; an age of prosperity with the country back as a superpower in Europe. Hitler had a vision, and this vision was that not only the country be dominant in a political sense, but that his ‘perfect race’, the ‘Aryans,’ would be dominant in a cultural sense....   [tags: The Holocaust: Essays]

Better Essays
873 words (2.5 pages)

ISLAMIC AND NON-ISLAMIC COUNSELING Essay

- Counseling is a concept that has been known generally by today’s community. Most people defined counseling as a professional interaction between a trained counselor and client in which the counselor provide possible options to solve problems. Yet, it is too general. According to Mokhtar (2006), counseling is a process that helps an individual to learn about their self, environment and how to handle the tasks and relationships. Shertzer & Stone, (1974) as Mokhtar also emphasized that counseling is a process of meaningful interaction towards understanding oneself and the environment as well as producing formation, goals and values clarification for future behavior....   [tags: Islamic conseling, non-islamic counseling, Qur'an ]

Better Essays
1538 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on Judaism : The Temple Of Jewish Worship

- Since the beginning of the religion, Judaism has seen major shifts in both the location and practices of worship. In ancient Jerusalem, the Temple on the Mount was the center of Jewish worship and home to prayer, offerings, and animal sacrifices (Rich). According to Jewish belief, this temple was built by King Solomon with the purpose of housing the Ark of the Covenant, a gold-covered chest which held the two stone tablets bearing the original Ten Commandments. This first temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, and the Ark of the Covenants whereabouts are still unknown to this day....   [tags: Judaism, Torah, Temple in Jerusalem, Jerusalem]

Better Essays
711 words (2 pages)

The Threat of the Jewish Race Essay

- Over the span of the Holocaust over 6 million Jewish people were senselessly tortured and killed. The man in charge of this horrible act is no stranger to history, Adolf Hitler. There is only one logical explanation in my opinion for the way Hitler acted. Paranoia. You can clearly see that as soon as he felt that he was being threatened by someone or some group, he just took them out, like the Jews, the Gypsies, the swing kids, and many more. Hitler was scared or paranoid of having his power taken from him so he did what he thought was the best decision that he could do to protect what little power he did have at the time, which was genocide....   [tags: holocaust, adolf hitler, genocide]

Better Essays
1069 words (3.1 pages)

Islamic And Jewish Dietary Laws Essay

- Islamic and Jewish Dietary laws Introduction: The purpose ofthis work is to explore, understand and analyze the dietary laws of Islam and Judaism. This comparative analysis shall explore in detail whether or not any differences exists regarding these laws both within each religious system and between them.Furthermore, this paper will attempt to track down the history of the dietary laws in both religions and analyze if any changes have taken place in the interpretation of these laws across history and geography....   [tags: Islam, Muhammad, Sharia, Qur'an]

Better Essays
1161 words (3.3 pages)

Jewish Studies Essay

- “Certainly, the world without the Jews would have been a radically different place. Humanity might have eventually stumbled upon all the Jewish insights. But we cannot be sure. All the great conceptual discoveries of the human intellect seem obvious and inescapable once they had been revealed, but it requires a special genius to formulate them for the first time. The Jews had this gift. To them we owe the idea of equality before the law, both divine and human; of the sanctity of life and the dignity of human person; of the individual conscience and so a personal redemption; of collective conscience and so of social responsibility; of peace as an abstract ideal and love as the foundation of j...   [tags: Judaism ]

Better Essays
1876 words (5.4 pages)

Essay on Burning Hope: Survivors of the Jewish Holocaust

- Those who survived are here to tell the tragic and devastating history of their lives. The survivors have shared brutal but yet realistic stories from each of their experiences before, during, and after the Holocaust. History shall never repeat itself in the manner of racism, murder, and fear of our leaders. The burning hope of those who were involved still generates an enormous sadness upon the many who have heard the horror of the Holocaust. There was a sense of peace and prosperity among those established in the European area....   [tags: Nazi Germany, WWII]

Better Essays
1186 words (3.4 pages)

Black, White And Jewish By Rebecca Walker Essay

- Today many people believe we live in a post-race society and the concept of colorblindness stems from this notion. Colorblindness refers to this idea that race doesn’t matter; that we shouldn’t see it or distinguish it and we are all equal. This ideology of colorblindness is harmful to individuals, their experiences and society as a whole. The concept of colorblindness denies people the power to define themselves while also classifying important aspect of their identity irrelevant or non-existent; race being one them....   [tags: Race, White people, Race, Black people]

Better Essays
1184 words (3.4 pages)

Early Jewish Migration to Maryland Essay

- The Early Waves of Jewish Migration to Maryland Introduction: The state of Maryland is current home to over 235,000 self-identified Jewish residents, making up over 4% of the total state population (JDB, 159). Today, Jewish Marylanders live in an open, welcoming environment, but this was not always the case. When the first Jewish settlers landed in St. Mary’s City, political equality was only a hope for the distant future. The first wave of Jewish migration to Maryland was marked by a trend of percolation rather then influx migration....   [tags: Judaism]

Better Essays
2094 words (6 pages)

Moses Mendelssohn: A New Jewish Faith Essays

- Moses Mendelssohn: A New Jewish Faith ‘Among the precepts and statues of the Mosaic law there is none saying “Thou shalt believe” or “Thou shalt not believe”; all say “Thou shalt do” or not do. Faith accepts no commands; it accepts only what comes to it by way of reasoned conviction. All commandments of the divine law are addressed to the will, to man’s capacity to act.’ (Glatzer 511). In considering who is a Jew, one must first gather a concrete conception of Judaism. Moses Mendelssohn offers some helpful material in “A Definition of Judaism,” which can be found in The Judaic Tradition....   [tags: Religion Jew Judaism Essays]

Free Essays
599 words (1.7 pages)