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By Nelson, M

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Example text

And this matteredto them: They did not, like most EuropeanJews in this period,feel generallyindifferentto the attitudesof the gentile world. Theyweremoreaptto assumea competitiveposture(whether andwouldbe eagerto defy vis-a-vis Spaniard,Englishman,or Netherlander), the gentile image of the Jews as an abjectpeople. But it was also true that the realities that supportedthis image were shifting in WesternEurope. The awarenessamong PortugueseJews in Livorno,Amsterdam,andLondon(not,however,Venice) of the unusualdegreeof equalitywith Christiansthey enjoyed,particularly in commerce,may have encouragedthemto view themselvesin a class with otherfree citizenries,ancientandcontemporary.

Be'ur la-morehas in Sheloshahqadmoneimefaresheiha-moreh,p. 3. DuranpresumfromNarbonias was his wont even thoughhe never ably borrowedthis line of interpretation cites Narboniby name(Hayoun,MosheNarboni,pp. 89-91). 104. Morehnevukhim,p. 22v. "'05 the Guide,Abarbanelfound clear implicationsthat indeedthey could have andperhapsdid do just that. In otherwords,in citingthe verse,Maimonidesintendedto comment on the questfor intellectualperfection,the explicitconcernof GuideI, 5, not to insinuateanythingaboutthe characterof the eventsat Sinai.

And this matteredto them: They did not, like most EuropeanJews in this period,feel generallyindifferentto the attitudesof the gentile world. Theyweremoreaptto assumea competitiveposture(whether andwouldbe eagerto defy vis-a-vis Spaniard,Englishman,or Netherlander), the gentile image of the Jews as an abjectpeople. But it was also true that the realities that supportedthis image were shifting in WesternEurope. The awarenessamong PortugueseJews in Livorno,Amsterdam,andLondon(not,however,Venice) of the unusualdegreeof equalitywith Christiansthey enjoyed,particularly in commerce,may have encouragedthemto view themselvesin a class with otherfree citizenries,ancientandcontemporary.

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