Accidents of Influence: Writing As a Woman and a Jew in America

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However, by the mids publishers were already starting to exhaust the backlog of daily and Sunday strips that could be reprinted. Advertising agencies had anti-Semitic quotas, and newspaper syndicates only occasionally took on a token Jewish cartoonist like Milt Gross or Rube Goldberg. Because the comic book stories were being written and drawn largely by inexperienced teenagers, they were often crude rip-offs of the popular newspaper strips of the day, such as Tarzan or Buck Rogers.

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Superman was an instant hit. Literally dozens of Superman clones were rushed into production by rival comic book publishers, and suddenly the comic book industry had a future. It was also a time when many classic characters were created. There was nothing overtly Jewish about the characters created during this era.

However, occasionally a comic book character would emerge that had certain Jewish signifiers. That is, until he took a serum that transformed him into the robust Captain America. And Superman gave such a pounding to Nazi agents from that, according to legend, Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels jumped up in the midst of a Reichstag meeting and denounced the Man of Steel as a Jew.

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After the war, however, comic sales started to drift off. The new EC was a hit. That humor title was MAD. Wertham condemned most of the genre — especially crime and horror comics—for having contributed to juvenile delinquency. However, one provision had a profound impact on Jewish history, the British Mandate. But an event at the end gave Jews hope. The Zionist Movement As Herzl tried to hold his Zionist movement together contentious battles were fought over questions like: Will it be a Jewish state? What type of Jewish state? It will take you 50 years to see it.

The Dreyfus Affair A new type of anti-Semitism arose in the s - one based on race, not religion. The culmination of this new anti-Semitism was the infamous Dreyfus Affair. The Lovers Of Zion The modern day return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel began over years ago with a strange mix of rabbis and atheists called the Lovers of Zion.

The Mussar Movement The Mussar Movement combined with the Yeshiva Movement held together the Jewish people from being swept away by the tide of Haskalah and assimilation. It differed from yeshivas in Poland, but turned back the tide of assimilation. The Volozhin Revolution The Yeshiva movement years ago was revolutionary in its time, and the main defense against Haskalah, guaranteeing the furtherance of traditional Judaism.

Haskalah In the 19th century in Russia there occurred a drastic change in Jewish life whose ripple effects are still felt today.

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For the first time in perhaps seven or eight centuries Jews orchestrated a direct confrontation with traditional Judaism. Through a series of harsh decrees Jews would convert to Russian Orthodoxy, emigrate out of Russia or face destruction. Jewish Russia, Jews in Russia in the s faced a series of anti-Semitic decrees by the Czars that sought to destroy them.

The reverberations of these decrees are felt today. Napoleon Napoleon profoundly influenced not only the world generally, but the Jewish world as well, even attempting to revive the Great Sanhedrin. The Gaon of Vilna The Vilna Gaon was a once-in-a-thousand years genius who spent his days in secluded study, yet had the most profound impact on the world, including ours today.

Spread of the Chassidic Movement Chassidus spread through Eastern Europe but only through a surprising counter revolution within the movement that eventually made it the establishment. The Coming of Reform Enlightenment ideals brought great upheaval to world Jewry. Sabbatai Zevi According to Kabbalistic tradition was destined to be a messianic year, and hopes for the coming of the messiah were raised throughout the Jewish world.

It is, therefore, ironic that in a Messiah did reveal himself and gained wide popularity throughout the Jewish world — but caused a disaster of historic proportions, the […] read article. Instead, they turned into a catastrophe on par with the Holocaust in many ways. Dawn of the 17th Century The 17th century marks the rise of mercantilism. Jews were active in it on many levels. At the same time, Jews like Spinoza were challenging it internally.

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Kabbalah In the s, Jewish mysticism became widespread, but was countered by Renaissance skepticism. This laid the ground for the calamitous events of the s.

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The Reformation The Protestant Reformation changed forever the face of Western civilization, and in so doing changed world Jewry, shifting its center to Eastern Europe. Rabbi Joseph Caro Among the Jews who left Spain during the expulsion in was a boy not even 13 who would become one of the great figures in the history of the Jewish people, Rabbi Joseph Caro sometimes spelled Karo. By the time of his death in approximately it could be said that from the time of Maimonides until his time no person had a greater and longer lasting influence on the Jewish people.

He was not only the giant of his age, and all the ages since. Though filled with extreme hardship, it had a spiritual richness that helped Jews transcend the mundane. The Marranos The Marranos suffered greatly, but some managed to flee Spain, finding tolerance and success with other Jews in lands such as Italy, Turkey, Israel and Holland. The Jews and the Renaissance The Renaissance brought a new intellectual spirit to Europe but also challenged the power of the Church.

For the Jews, it opened new possibilities and dangers. The end of Spanish Jewry was a blow unequaled until the Holocaust. The Black Death Although the Black Death devastated all Europe, for the Jews it is was compounded by Christian persecution that blamed them for the disaster. But three men turned everything around. Expulsions and Burnings Between blood libels, pogroms, the burning of the Talmud and expulsions from England and France in the 13th century, it is a miracle the Jewish people survived. He is the guiding hand and gentle teacher who explains the words and inspires all who study Torah.

Ashkenazic Jewry in France The Jews fulfilled three roles in Europe: money-lender, scapegoat and harbinger of new ideas.

Accidents of Influence Writing as a Woman and a Jew in America

All three made him necessary as it made his life precarious. The Christian Reconquest of Spain Jews faced increasingly harsher persecutions Christian dominated Spain, including accusations from usury, desecrating the host, blood libels and well poisoning. Nachmanides Nachmanides is one of the greatest Jewish scholars ever. His resounding victory in a with the Church marked a turning point in Jewish-Christian relations.

Maimonides The Golden Age of the Jews in Spain can be symbolized by one person, arguably the greatest person that the people produced from the time of the Talmud until our day: Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, also known as Maimonides or the Rambam. Their lives give us a personalized glimpse of the era. Beginnings of the Golden Age in Spain The Golden Age of Spanish Jewry, despite eruptions of Islamic fanaticism, was marked by expansion of Jewish wealth and influence in politics and philosophy.

End of the Geonic Era There were three major reasons that the center of Jewish life shifted from Babylon to Spain starting around the year CE: division, migration and assimilation. Ashkenazic And Sephardic Jewry The spread of the Jews from Babylon to North Africa and Europe is remarkable and based on the legend of four great rabbis who were kidnapped by Arab pirates.

The Middle Geonic Period Despite his turbulent life, Rabbi Saadiah Gaon's clear insight and influence of knowledge have remained part and parcel of the Jewish people until today.

The Early Geonic Period As the Jews settled into life under the Muslims, dealing with its good and bad influences, the heretical Karaite movement threatened both Jews and Judaism. Even as the Muslims became the new leaders of civilization, Jewish reaction was ambivalent. The Roman Empire Adopts Christianity When Constantine, the emperor of Rome, became a Christian it meant that the empire became Christian, with momentous consequences for the Jewish and pagan worlds. Hexed by some malicious power, Israel enjoys release from doggy servility only on Sabbath, when he retreats into Jewish observance.

He provides the explicit parable for the Jewish political condition that I discovered quite by accident in Dropkin through what some would call creative misreading. When we teach a poem, we try to see how it has organized words and meter into a complete expression, everything integrated into itself, nothing extraneous. Robert Frost, when asked to provide a poem for an ecumenical religious site, wrote:.