What if the Exodus had never happened? What if the Jews of Spain had not been expelled in 1492? What if Eastern European Jews had never been confined to the Russian Pale of Settlement? What if Adolf Hitler had been assassinated in 1939? What if a Jewish state had been established in Uganda instead of Palestine? Gavriel D. Rosenfeld's pioneering anthology examines how these and other counterfactual questions would have affected the course of Jewish history. Featuring essays by sixteen distinguished scholars in the field of Jewish Studies, What Ifs of Jewish History is the first volume to systematically apply counterfactual reasoning to the Jewish past. Written in a variety of narrative styles, ranging from the analytical to the literary, the essays cover three thousand years of dramatic events and invite readers to indulge their imaginations and explore how the course of Jewish history might have been different.
Table of Contents
Introduction: counterfactual history and the Jewish imagination Gavriel D. Rosenfeld; 1. What if the Exodus had never happened? Steven Weitzman; 2. What if the temple of Jerusalem had not been destroyed by the Romans? René Bloch; 3. What if King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella had not expelled the Jews of Spain in 1492? Jonathan Ray; 4. What if the 'ghetto' had never been constructed? Bernard Cooperman; 5. What if Spinoza had repented? Eugene Sheppard; 6. What if Russian Jewry had never been confined to the pale of Jewish settlement? Jeffrey Veidlinger; 7. What if a Christian state had been established in Modern Palestine? Derek Penslar; 8. What if the Jewish state had been established in East Africa? Adam Rovner; 9. What if Franz Kafka had immigrated to Palestine? Iris Bruce; 10. What if the Palestinian Arab elite had chosen compromise instead of boycott in confronting Zionism? Kenneth W. Stein; 11. What if Musa Alami and David Ben-Gurion had agreed on a Jewish-Arab state? David Myers; 12. What if the Weimar Republic had survived? Michael Brenner; 13. What if Adolf Hitler had been assassinated in 1939? Gavriel D. Rosenfeld; 14. What if the Nazis had won the battle of El Alamein? Jeffrey Herf; 15. What if the final solution had been completed? Dirk Rupnow; 16. What if the Holocaust had been averted? Jeffrey Gurock; Index.