A Jewish Historical Agenda?

Jews never invented the study or writing of “history,” but they did invent the idea of a beginning and an end for mankind as a whole.

Jewish prisoners outside Jerusalem after the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians, as depicted in Flight of the Prisoners by James Tissot, c. 1896-1902. Jewish Museum.
Jewish prisoners outside Jerusalem after the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians, as depicted in Flight of the Prisoners by James Tissot, c. 1896-1902. Jewish Museum.
Last Word
Aug. 27 2018
About the author

Eric Mechoulan is a professor of history and geography in Paris.


My deep thanks to Jon D. Levenson and Hillel Halkin for their penetrating and thought-provoking responses to my essay, “What Is the Meaning of Jewish History?” In what follows, I draw on each of them in an effort to advance further our mutual understanding of the issues involved in any attempt to answer the question raised by my title.

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More about: History & Ideas, Jewish history