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Two Nations in Your Womb

Perceptions of Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

Israel Jacob Yuval (Author), Barbara Harshav (Translator), Jonathan Chipman (Translator)

Available worldwide
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Paperback, 338 pages
ISBN: 9780520258181
August 2008
$31.95, £21.95
Since it was first published in Hebrew in 2000, this provocative book has been garnering acclaim and stirring controversy for its bold reinterpretation of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity in the Middle Ages, especially in medieval Europe. Looking at a remarkably wide array of source material, Israel Jacob Yuval argues that the inter-religious polemic between Judaism and Christianity served as a substantial component in the mutual formation of each of the two religions. He investigates ancient Jewish Passover rituals; Jewish martyrs in the Rhineland who in 1096 killed their own children; Christian perceptions of those ritual killings; and events of the year 1240, when Jews in northern France and Germany expected the Messiah to arrive. Looking below the surface of these key moments, Yuval finds that, among other things, the impact of Christianity on Talmudic and medieval Judaism was much stronger than previously assumed and that a "rejection of Christianity" became a focal point of early Jewish identity. Two Nations in Your Womb will reshape our understanding of Jewish and Christian life in late antiquity and over the centuries.
List of Illustrations
Preface to the Hebrew Edition
Preface to the English Edition

1. Introduction: Et Major Serviet Minori
(And the Elder Will Serve the Younger)
The Thematic Framework
The Early Typology: Esau Id Est Edom
The Late Typology: Edom Id Est Roma
The Conciliatory Approach of Modern Research
The Mother, the Daughter, and the Sister

2. Rome or Jerusalem: The Foundations of Jewish-Christian Hostility
The Sons of Ephraim and the Son of Joseph
Vindicta Salvatoris (The Vengeance of the Savior)
Legends of the Destruction—Anti-Christian?
The Passover of Egypt and the Passover of Jerusalem
Development of the Stories
Parallels between the Jewish Haggadah and the Christian "Haggadahs"
The "Midrash" of the Haggadah
Conclusions
A Note on the Research

3. The Vengeance and the Curse: Hostility to Christianity
among Ashkenazic Jewry
Vengeful Redemption
Proselytizing Redemption
The Curse
The Curse on Yom Kippur
Pour Out Thy Wrath
The Impression of the Curses on Christians

4. Intersecting Stories: From Martyrdom to Ritual Murder Accusations
The Blood
Self-Sacrifice
Sacrifice of Children
The Libel
The Impact of the Blood Sacrifice on Christians
The Libel of Blois and the Story of Bristol

5. Inverted Ceremonies: The Host, the Matzah, and the Quarrel
The Great Sabbath
The Burning of Leaven
The Eruv of Courtyards
The Afikoman
Haroset
Summary

6. The End of the Millennium (1240): Jewish Hopes, Christian Fears
Calculations of the End at the Turn of the Jewish Millennium
Messianism, Immigration to the Land of Israel, and Settling the Land
Fulda 1235, Paris 1240: Christian Reactions?
The Mongolian Threat: The Ten Tribes? Gog and Magog?
A Synchronic Overview
A Jewish End and a Christian End

Index
Israel Jacob Yuval is a professor for Jewish History and the Academic Head of "Scholion-Interdisciplinary Research Center in Jewish Studies" at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is author of Scholars in Their Time: The Religious Leadership of German Jewry in the Late Middle Ages (1988).
“A rich work.”—Bridges
“This masterful study is a must-read for anyone interested in the early and medieval evolution of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity.”—Shmuel Shepkaru Journal Of Religion
“The most exciting, and in some ways the most outrageous, work of Jewish history in a long time. . . . His account of Passover and its rituals is especially startling.”—New Republic

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