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Reckless Rites:
Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence
Elliott Horowitz

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"The book is a valuable contribution to what appeared to be an already enormous volume of religious history. The author's presentation of a well-researched and thoroughly analyzed history of Jewish violence that accompanies a sacred festival makes this an extraordinary book."--Willem F M Luyt, Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae


"Elliott Horowitz's learned, humane, and exciting book will rattle many platitudes and disturb many pieties. Purim will never be quite the same; and the complications that Horowitz introduces into the history of Jewish self-representation will be ferociously debated for many years to come. Horowitz's lack of interest in edification is itself edifying; his love of truth is fully the match of his love of tradition. Reckless Rites is a model of the lost art of troublemaking scholarship."--Leon Wieseltier

"This is a book of tremendous importance that explores some of the most significant themes in Jewish history, especially the relations between Jews and Christians and the question of Jewish passivity and meekness. Horowitz disputes scholarly and popular accounts that ascribe these characteristics to Jews, in part by showing that both Jews and Christians have had polemical and apologetic motives in making such representations. This book represents a vitally significant reorientation of Jewish historiography. It will be controversial, no doubt, but it is certain to be a turning point in the field."--Daniel Boyarin, Hermann P. and Sophia Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley

"Reading Elliott Horowitz is always a treat and an education. He has an unusually keen eye for topics that other scholars have bypassed, and his work reveals extraordinarily wide reading--not only of Jewish sources but also texts that few Jewish historians would bother opening. And he follows the sources wherever they lead, regardless of conclusions that may startle or even affront readers. Reckless Rites will raise the eyebrows and perhaps elevate the blood pressure of some readers, but it illuminates dark corners of the Jewish past."--Marc Saperstein, Charles E. Smith Professor of Jewish History and Director of the Judaic Studies Program, George Washington University

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File created: 4/21/2017

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