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C'est ceux qui sont trop mince qui porte le fardaux de cette maladie. Lorsque votre enfant souffre d'une maladie mineure; Donnez-leur plusieurs bisous sur leur petite bouche pour que vous leur transmettez tout les bienfaits de vos anti-corps de grande personne.
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When a call is missed or an calandar alarm has been risen; implement a blinking red light, like the great Blackberry, to indicate that you have new information that you must take care of.
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Nouvelle loi Canadienne, la loi 1: Do not burry your love ones in deep cold churchland. To get a sense of the density of accomplishment these numbers represent, I will focus on onward, after legal emancipation had been achieved throughout Central and Western Europe.
How does the actual number of significant figures compare to what would be expected given the Jewish proportion of the European and North American population?
From to , Jewish representation in literature was four times the number one would expect. In music, five times.
In the visual arts, five times. In biology, eight times. In chemistry, six times. In physics, nine times. In mathematics, twelve times.
In philosophy, fourteen times. Disproportionate Jewish accomplishment in the arts and sciences continues to this day. My inventories end with , but many other measures are available, of which the best known is the Nobel Prize.
In the second half of the 20th century, when Nobel Prizes began to be awarded to people from all over the world, that figure rose to 29 percent.
So far, in the 21st century, it has been 32 percent. You do the math. W hat accounts for this remarkable record? A full answer must call on many characteristics of Jewish culture, but intelligence has to be at the center of the answer.
Jews have been found to have an unusually high mean intelligence as measured by IQ tests since the first Jewish samples were tested.
The widely repeated story that Jewish immigrants to this country in the early 20th century tested low on IQ is a canard.
Exactly how high has been difficult to pin down, because Jewish sub-samples in the available surveys are seldom perfectly representative.
But it is currently accepted that the mean is somewhere in the range of to , with being a plausible compromise.
If the Jewish mean is , then the mathematics of the normal distribution says that the average Jew is at the 75th percentile.
Underlying that mean in overall IQ is a consistent pattern on IQ subtests: Jews are only about average on the subtests measuring visuo-spatial skills, but extremely high on subtests that measure verbal and reasoning skills.
The key indicator for predicting exceptional accomplishment like winning a Nobel Prize is the incidence of exceptional intelligence. Consider an IQ score of or higher, denoting the level of intelligence that can permit people to excel in fields like theoretical physics and pure mathematics.
Of those 28, 24 were Jews. Exceptional intelligence is not enough to explain exceptional accomplishment. Qualities such as imagination, ambition, perseverance, and curiosity are decisive in separating the merely smart from the highly productive.
The role of intelligence is nicely expressed in an analogy suggested to me years ago by the sociologist Steven Goldberg: The heaviest offensive tackle is not necessarily the best.
Indeed, the correlation between weight and performance among NFL offensive tackles is probably quite low. But they all weigh more than pounds.
The other things count, but you must be very smart to have even a chance of achieving great work. A randomly selected Jew has a higher probability of possessing that level of intelligence than a randomly selected member of any other ethnic or national group, by far.
N othing that I have presented up to this point is scientifically controversial. The profile of disproportionately high Jewish accomplishment in the arts and sciences since the 18th century, the reality of elevated Jewish IQ, and the connection between the two are not to be denied by means of data.
And so we come to the great question: Here, the discussion must become speculative. Geneticists and historians are still assembling the pieces of the explanation, and there is much room for disagreement.
I begin with the assumption that elevated Jewish intelligence is grounded in genetics. It is no longer seriously disputed that intelligence in Homo sapiens is substantially heritable.
In the last two decades, it has also been established that obvious environmental factors such as high income, books in the house, and parental reading to children are not as potent as one might expect.
Even the very best home environments add only a few points, if that, to a merely okay environment. To put it another way, we have good reason to think that Gentile children raised in Jewish families do not acquire Jewish intelligence.
Hence my view that something in the genes explains elevated Jewish IQ. That conclusion is not logically necessary but, given what we know about heritability and environmental effects on intelligence in humans as a species, it is extremely plausible.
Two potential explanations for a Jewish gene pool favoring high intelligence are so obvious that many people assume they must be true: I too think that both of these must have played some role, but how much of a role is open to question.
In the case of winnowing through persecution, the logic cuts both ways. Yes, those who remained faithful during the many persecutions of the Jews were self-selected for commitment to Judaism, and the role of scholarship in that commitment probably means that intelligence was one of the factors in self-selection.
The foresight that goes with intelligence might also have had some survival value as in anticipating pogroms , though it is not obvious that its effect would be large enough to explain much.
But once the Cossacks are sweeping through town, the kind of intelligence that leads to business success or rabbinical acumen is no help at all.
On the contrary, the most successful people could easily have become the most likely to be killed, by virtue of being more visible and the targets of greater envy.
Furthermore, other groups, such as the Gypsies, have been persecuted for centuries without developing elevated intelligence. Considered closely, the winnowing-by-persecution logic is not as compelling as it may first appear.
What of the marrying-for-brains theory? The combination could have been potent: Once again, however, it is difficult to be more specific about how much effect this might have had.
Arguments have been advanced that rich merchants were in fact often reluctant to entrust their daughters to penniless and unworldly scholars.
Nor is it clear that the fertility rate of scholars, or their numbers, were high enough to account for a major effect on intelligence. The attractiveness of brains in prospective marriage partners surely played some role but, once again, the data for assessing how much have not been assembled.
A gainst this backdrop of uncertainty, a data-driven theory for explaining elevated Jewish IQ appeared in in the Journal of Biosocial Science.
In the analysis of these authors, the key factor explaining elevated Jewish intelligence is occupational selection.
From the time Jews became established north of the Pyrenees-Balkans line, around C. Economic success in all of these occupations is far more highly selected for intelligence than success in the chief occupation of non-Jews: Sephardi and Oriental Jews—i.
But the authors cite evidence that, as a rule, they were less concentrated in occupations that selected for IQ and instead more commonly worked in craft trades.
The suggested selective process explains the pattern of mental abilities in Ashkenazi Jews: Verbal and mathematical talent helped medieval businessmen succeed, while spatio-visual abilities were irrelevant.
The rest of their presentation is a lengthy and technical discussion of the genetics of selection for IQ, indirect evidence linking elevated Jewish IQ with a variety of genetically based diseases found among Ashkenazim, and evidence that most of these selection effects have occurred within the last 1, years.
N o one has yet presented an alternative to the Cochran-Hardy-Harpending theory that can match it for documentation. But, as someone who suspects that elevated Jewish intelligence was a not confined to Ashkenazim and b antedates the Middle Ages, I will outline the strands of an alternative explanation that should be explored.
It begins with evidence that Jews who remained in the Islamic world exhibited unusually high levels of accomplishment as of the beginning of the second millennium.
These were not Ashkenazim in northern Europe, where Jews were still largely excluded from the world of scientific scholarship, but Sephardim in the Iberian peninsula, in Baghdad, and in other Islamic centers of learning.
I have also mentioned the more diffuse cultural evidence from Spain, where, under both Muslim and Christian rule, Jews attained eminent positions in the professions, commerce, and government as well as in elite literary and intellectual circles.
After being expelled from Spain at the end of the 15th century, Sephardi Jews rose to distinction in many of the countries where they settled.
Some economic historians have traced the decline of Spain after , and the subsequent rise of the Netherlands, in part to the Sephardi commercial talent that was transferred from the one to the other.
Centuries later, in England, one could point to such Sephardi eminences as Benjamin Disraeli and the economist David Ricardo.
In sum, I propose that a strong case could be assembled that Jews everywhere had unusually high intellectual resources that manifested themselves outside of Ashkenaz and well before the period when non-rabbinic Ashkenazi accomplishment manifested itself.
The logical inconsistency disappears if one posits that Jews circa C. Recent advances in the use of genetic markers to characterize populations enable us to pursue such possibilities systematically.
I offer this testable hypothesis as just one of many possibilities: T he next strand of an alternative to the Cochran-Hardy-Harpending theory involves reasons for thinking that some of the elevation of Jewish intelligence occurred even before Jews moved into occupations selected for intelligence, because of the shift in ancient Judaism from a rite-based to a learning-based religion.
All scholars who have examined the topic agree that about 80—90 percent of all Jews were farmers at the beginning of the Common Era, and that only about 10—20 percent of Jews were farmers by the end of the first millennium.
No other ethnic group underwent this same kind of occupational shift. Education, Restrictions, or Minorities? Rejecting the explanation that Jews became merchants because they were restricted from farming, Botticini and Eckstein point to cases in which Jews who were free to own land and engage in agriculture made the same shift to urban, skilled occupations that Jews exhibited where restrictions were in force.
Instead, they focus on an event that occurred in 64 C. The ordinance was not only issued; it was implemented. Within about a century, the Jews, uniquely among the peoples of the world, had effectively established universal male literacy and numeracy.
If you remained a farmer, your education had little or no value. Over the centuries, this basic economic reality led Jews to leave farming and engage in urban occupations.
So far, Botticini and Eckstein have provided an explanatory backdrop to the shift in occupations that in turn produced the selection pressures for intelligence described by Cochran, Hardy, and Harpending.
But selection pressure in this classic form was probably not the only force at work. Between the 1st and 6th centuries C. About 1 million Jews were killed in the revolts against the Romans in Judea and Egypt.
There were scattered forced conversions from Judaism to another religion. Some of the reduction may be associated with a general drop in population that accompanied the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
But that still leaves a huge number of Jews who just disappeared. What happened to them? Botticini and Eckstein argue that an economic force was at work: As time went on, they drifted away from Judaism.
I am sure this explanation has some merit. But a more direct explanation could involve the increased intellectual demands of Judaism.
Both mark the moment when Judaism began actively to transform itself from a religion centered on rites and sacrifices at the Temple in Jerusalem to a religion centered on prayer and the study of the Torah at decentralized synagogues and study houses.
Rabbis and scholars took on a much larger role as leaders of local communities. Since worship of God involved not only prayer but study, all Jewish males had to read if they were to practice their faith—and not only read in private but be able to read aloud in the presence of others.
In this context, consider the intellectual requirements of literacy. People with modest intelligence can become functionally literate, but they are able to read only simple texts.
The Torah and the Hebrew prayer book are not simple texts; even to be able to read them mechanically requires fairly advanced literacy.
To study the Talmud and its commentaries with any understanding requires considerable intellectual capacity. What happened to the millions of Jews who disappeared?
It is not necessary to maintain that Jews of low intelligence were run out of town because they could not read the Torah and commentaries fluently.
Rather, few people enjoy being in a position where their inadequacies are constantly highlighted. It is human nature to withdraw from such situations.
I suggest that the Jews who fell away from Judaism from the 1st to 6th centuries C. Even before the selection pressures arising from urban occupations began to have an effect, I am arguing, the remaining self-identified Jews circa C.
A loose end remains. Is it the case that, before the 1st century C. Are we to believe that the Bible, a work compiled over centuries and incorporating everything from brilliant poetry to profound ethics, with stories that speak so eloquently to the human condition that they have inspired great art, music, and literature for millennia, was produced by an intellectually run-of-the-mill Levantine tribe?
In The Evolution of Man and Society , the geneticist Cyril Darlington presented the thesis that Jews and Judaism were decisively shaped much earlier than the 1st century C.
The biblical account clearly states that only a select group of Jews were taken to Babylon. In effect, the Babylonians took away the Jewish elites, selected in part for high intelligence, and left behind the poor and unskilled, selected in part for low intelligence.
By the time the exiles returned, more than a century later, many of those remaining behind in Judah had been absorbed into other religions. The returned exiles, who formed the bulk of the reconstituted Jewish community, comprised mainly the descendants of the Jewish elites—plausibly a far more able population, on average, than the pre-captivity population.
I offer the Babylonian captivity as a concrete mechanism whereby Jewish intelligence may have been elevated very early, but I am not wedded to it.
Even without that mechanism, there is reason to think that selection for intelligence antedates the 1st century C. From its very outset, apparently going back to the time of Moses, Judaism was intertwined with intellectual complexity.
Jews were commanded by God to heed the law, which meant they had to learn the law. The law was so extensive and complicated that this process of learning and reviewing was never complete.
Moreover, Jewish males were not free to pretend that they had learned the law, for fathers were commanded to teach the law to their children.
It became obvious to all when fathers failed in their duty. No other religion made so many intellectual demands upon the whole body of its believers.
Long before Joshua ben Gamla and the destruction of the Second Temple, the requirements for being a good Jew had provided incentives for the less intelligent to fall away.
Assessing the events of the 1st century C. By way of an analogy, consider written Chinese with its thousands of unique characters.
It is possible, I suppose, that their high visuo-spatial skills have been fostered by having to learn written Chinese; but I find it much more plausible that only people who already possessed high visuo-spatial skills would ever devise such a ferociously difficult written language.
This reasoning pushes me even farther into the realm of speculation. Why should one particular tribe at the time of Moses, living in the same environment as other nomadic and agricultural peoples of the Middle East, have already evolved elevated intelligence when the others did not?
At this point, I take sanctuary in my remaining hypothesis, uniquely parsimonious and happily irrefutable. Enfin la terre promise? Mais il y a plus: Et comment comprendre cette double injonction: Or selon un adage de la tradition juive: Du reste, mystique et critique peuvent chez lui aller de pair: Mais tu vois, pour moi, tout cela ce sont des chemins.
Puis Leonard Cohen se lance dans la chanson. Adieu, ma vieille amie. The Chosen Few Has an emphasis on education been bad for the Jewish population?
Steven Weiss Slate Nov. Besides the aforementioned Nobel prizes, American Jews, according to one of the largest studies , are nearly twice as likely to have a college degree as the average American and more than four times as likely to have a graduate degree.
This translates into a serious economic advantage: American Jews are roughly 33 percent more likely to be employed in a high-status job category, and Jewish households here report around 25 percent higher income than the average American household.
The core theory usually derives from a mix of two themes that stand out in Jewish history: For the former, the rabbis of the Talmud and thereafter were fierce advocates of universal primary education, with the best-known example being a Jewish boy indicating his achievement of Jewish adulthood by reading publicly from the Torah at a bar mitzvah.
Universal primary education was boys-only until at least the late 19 th century. There are other theories, too, some even including a notion of simple genetic superiority, by way of an idea that Jewish communities modified natural selection through upholding scholars as examples of the proper way to be, providing them the choicest wives and expecting them to have many children.
And our overall received notions of a Jewish community that was fiercely observant and often Orthodox also have little evidence to back them up.
And, as Alana Newhouse revealed a couple of years ago, even the images we have of a fiercely pious Jewish shtetl have been largely manipulated. By combining a very thorough look at the historical record with new economic and demographic analyses, the authors summarily dismiss a great many of the underlying assumptions that have produced theories around Jewish literacy in the past.
Where many tied the Jewish move into professional trades to the European era when Jews were persecuted, Botticini and Eckstein bring forward evidence that the move away from the unlettered world of premodern agriculture actually happened a thousand years earlier, when Jews were largely free to pursue the profession of their choice.
But these rabbis were also touting a vision of a future Judaism quite different from that which had been at least symbolically dominant for much of Jewish history to that point.
Where a focus on the Temple in Jerusalem, with ritual sacrifices and the agricultural economy they required being the standard to that point, these rabbis—broadly speaking, the Pharisees —sought to emphasize Torah reading, prayer, and synagogue.
When the sect of Judaism that emphasized the Temple—broadly, the Sadducees —was essentially wiped out by the Romans shortly after the time of Jesus, the Pharisaic leaders, in the form of the sages of the Talmud, were given a mostly free hand to reshape Judaism in their own image.
Over the next several hundred years, they and their ideological descendants codified the Talmud and declared a need for universal Jewish education as they did so.
All of this history is widely known and understood, but what Botticini and Eckstein do differently is trace this development alongside the size of the Jewish population and their occupational distribution.
The Jewish global population shrunk from at least 5 million to as little as 1 million between the year 70 and According to them, over multiple generations they simply stopped being Jewish: To be able to justify that investment, one had to be either or both an especially devoted Jew or someone hoping to find a profession for his children where literacy was an advantage, like trade, crafts, and money lending.
For those not especially devoted and having little hope of seeing their children derive economic benefit from a Jewish education, the option to simply leave the Jewish community, the economists argue, was more enticing than the option to remain as its unlettered masses.
Two-thirds of the surviving Jewish population, they assert, took that route. This distinct twist of the population story, which accompanies research showing a shift from nearly 90 percent of the Jewish population engaging in agriculture to nearly 90 percent engaging in professional trades over that same several hundred years, addresses a key problem of previous theories of Jewish literacy: Botticini and Eckstein bring other evidence of Jewish tradition generating success in trade.
An extrajudicial system of rabbinical courts for settling disputes allowed for the development of the kind of trust required for commercial enterprises to grow.
A universal language of Hebrew eased international negotiations. And in a devastating critique of the theory that persecution actually pushed this economic shift along, the economists examine the societies in which Jews originally developed this bias toward trades and find Jews faced no particular discrimination that would have made them less successful in agriculture.
In fact, they show, Jews were often discriminated against precisely because of their emphasis on trade, such as in their expulsion from England in , which only came after they were repeatedly told to give up the profession of money lending eventually echoed in Ulysses S.
And so the Jewish people have grown into a people of two intertwined legacies: When a given family stopped being devoted or wealthy enough, it simply faded away.
The astonishing theory presented here has great implications for both the Jewish community and the broader world today. For an American Jewish community in which more than 75 percent of day school students are now Orthodox and the top concern for most Orthodox families in repeated surveys is finding a way to pay for ever-increasing tuition costs, the price of admission to the highly affiliated Jewish community is not just a large amount of ritual observance but also a basic need to join the 1 percent—or nearly so.
Outside of the New York area, tuition is generally lower, but so is the average income. And as Botticini and Eckstein predicted for their medieval models, modern American Jews who are fiercely devoted but without high incomes will endure significant financial sacrifice to maintain their Jewish lifestyles: The ultra-Orthodox enclave of Kiryas Joel, N.
And for most of the 80 to 90 percent of families representing the non-Orthodox portion of the Jewish community in America, the cost of Jewish education has simply meant great numbers growing up without the ability to read Hebrew or engage with the Bible and other Jewish texts.
Here we see precisely the same dichotomy that Eckstein and Botticini saw in the early years of post-Temple rabbinic Judaism: The especially devoted and wealthy provide their children with a Jewish education, but many others see too high a price in either or both of time and money and so choose a different path.
The aim for universal literacy in America broadly, and increasingly in all corners of the world, has led to the same kinds of professional opportunities for many people in the way that Jews used to have largely to themselves.
A New Explanation of Jewish Success. A note from Paul Solman: Nine years ago, someone sent me an academic paper that put forward a radically new explanation of why Jews have been so successful economically.
You may know a similar story about the Protestant Reformation: Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain? Why do the latter owe the former instead of the other way around?
Might it have something to do with the Protestant legacy of the North, the Catholic legacy of the South? Botticini and Eckstein have spent their careers studying not Christianity, but Judaism.
And they have now come out with a book elaborating on their novel thesis: Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein: Imagine a dinner conversation in a New York or Milan or Tel Aviv restaurant in which three people—an Israeli, an American, and a European — ask to each other: Why are Jews primarily engaged in trade, commerce, entrepreneurial activities, finance, law, medicine, and scholarship?
And why have the Jewish people experienced one of the longest and most scattered diasporas in history, along with a steep demographic decline?
Most likely, the standard answers they would suggest would be along these lines: Imagine now that two economists us seated at a nearby table, after listening to this conversation, tell the three people who are having this lively debate: This book provides you with a novel explanation of why the Jews are the people they are today — a comparatively small population of economically successful and intellectually prominent individuals.
Suppose you are like one of the three people in the story above and you wonder why you should follow the advice of the two economists.
There are many books that have studied the history of the Jewish people and have addressed those fascinating questions. With the magnifying glass, the reader will be like a historian, who focuses on a place and a time period, painstakingly digs through the sources, and carefully documenting the historical trajectory of the Jews there.
A thousand such scholars will offer a detailed description of the history of the Jews in hundreds of locales throughout history. But with the telescope, the reader will be like an economist, who assembles and painstakingly compares the information offered by the works of the historians, creates a complete picture of the economic and demographic history of the Jewish people over 15 centuries, and then uses the powerful tools of economic reasoning and logic to address one of the most fundamental questions in Jewish history:.
Why are the Jews, a relatively small population, specialized in the most skilled and economically profitable occupations? In turn, this may help us understand several features of the history of the Jewish people from up to today, including the successful performance of the Israeli economy despite the recent economic crisis.
At the turn of the millennium, the historical voyage reaches Cairo, Constantinople, and Cordoba, and soon after the whole of western and southern Europe, then turns back to Baghdad in the s during the Mongol conquest of the Middle East before ending in Seville in During these 15 centuries, a profound transformation of Judaism coupled with three historic encounters of the Jews — with Rome, with Islam, and with the Mongol Conquest — shaped the economic and demographic history of the Jewish people in a unique and long-lasting way up to today.
In the centuries before 70, the core of Judaism was centered around two pillars: It was the power of this elite that the Jew Yeshua ben Josef, later know as Jesus Christ, so often decried.
The destruction of the Temple in 70 at the end of the first Jewish-Roman war was the first of the three external events which permanently shaped the history of the Jewish people.
Momentously, it canceled one of the two pillars of Judaism, shifting the religious leadership within the Jewish community from the high priests in Jerusalem to a much more widely dispersed community of rabbis and scholars.
In so doing, it transformed Judaism into a religion whose main norm required every Jewish man to read and to study the Torah in Hebrew himself and, even more radically, to send his sons from the age of six or seven to primary school or synagogue to learn to do the same.
In the world of universal illiteracy, as it was the world at the beginning of the first millennium, this was an absolutely revolutionary transformation.
At that time, no other religion had a similar norm as a membership requirement for its followers, and no state or empire had anything like laws imposing compulsory education or universal literacy for its citizens.
The unexpected consequences of this change in the religious norm within Judaism would unfold in the subsequent centuries.
What would the reader see? They would see Jewish farmers, some rich, some poor who have to decide whether to send their children to primary school as their rabbis tell them to do.
Some farmers are very attached to Judaism and willing to obey the norms of their religion, others are not very devout and consider whether or not to convert to another religion.
In this rural economy, educating the children as Judaism requires is a cost, but brings no economic benefits because literacy does not make a farmer more productive or wealthier.
Given this situation, what would economic logic predict? What would likely happen to Judaism and the Jewish people?
Given a high preference for religious affiliation, some Jews will educate their children and will keep their attachment to their religion.
Other Jews, however, will prefer their material well-being and will not educate their children. Furthermore, a portion of this latter group will likely convert to other religions with less demanding requirements.
And so, over time, even absent wars or other demographic shocks, the size of the Jewish population will shrink because of this process of conversions.
But are the predictions of the economic theory consistent with what really happened to the Jews during the first millennium? The historical evidence assembled in our book says yes.
The implementation of this new religious norm within Judaism during the Talmud era third to sixth centuries determined two major patterns from 70 C.
The first of these trends was the growth and spread of literacy among the predominantly rural Jewish population.
War-related massacres and epidemics contributed to this drastic drop, but they cannot by themselves explain it.
At the beginning of the 7th century, the Jews experienced their second major historic encounter — this time with Islam.
In the two centuries after the death of Mohammed, in , the Muslim Umayyad and, later, Abbasid caliphs, established a vast empire stretching from the Iberian Peninsula to India and China, with a common language Arabic , religion Islam , laws, and institutions.
Concomitant with the ascent of this empire, agricultural productivity grew, new industries developed, commerce greatly expanded, and new cities and towns developed.
These changes vastly increased the demand for skilled and literate occupations in the newly established urban empire.
How did this affect world Jewry? Agriculture, the typical occupation of the Jewish people in the days of Josephus in the first century, was no longer their typical occupation seven to eight centuries later.
This occupational transition occurred at a time in which there were no legal restrictions on Jewish land ownership. The Jews could and did own land in the many locations of the vast Abbasid Muslim Empire.
And yet, Jews moved away from farming. This is of vital importance. Modern explanations of why the Jews became a population of craftsmen, traders, shopkeepers, bankers, scholars, and physicians have relied on supposed economic or legal restrictions.
But these do not pass the test of the historical evidence. This is one of our main and novel messages: It enabled Jews — incentivized Jews — to abandon agriculture as their main occupation and profitably migrate to Yemen, Syria, Egypt, and the Maghreb.
The tide of migrations of Jews in search of business opportunities also reached Christian Europe. Migrations of Jews within and from the lands of the Byzantine Empire, which included southern Italy, may have set the foundations, via Italy, for much of European Jewry.
Once the Jews were engaged in these occupations, there was no economic pressure to convert, which is consistent with the fact that the Jewish population, which had shrunk so dramatically in earlier times, grew slightly from the 7th to the 12th centuries.
Moreover, this comparative advantage fostered the voluntary diaspora of the Jews during the early middle ages in search of worldwide opportunities in crafts, trade, commerce, moneylending, banking, finance, and medicine.
This in turn would explain why the Jews, at this point in history, became so successful in occupations related to credit and financial markets.
Already during the 12th and 13th centuries, moneylending was the occupation par excellence of the Jews in England, France, and Germany, and one of the main professions of the Jews in the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, and other locations in western Europe.
A popular view contends that both their exclusion from craft and merchant guilds and usury bans on Muslims and Christians segregated European Jews into moneylending during the Middle Ages.
But our study shows, with evidence we have come upon during more than a decade of research, that this argument is simply untenable.
Instead, we have been compelled to offer an alternative and new explanation, consistent with the historical record: With these assets, small wonder that a significant number of Jews specialized in the most profitable occupation that depended on literacy and numeracy: In this sector they worked for many centuries.
As they specialized, just as Adam Smith would have predicted, they honed their craft, giving them a competitive advantage, right up to the present.
But what if the economy and society in which the Jews lived, suddenly ceased being urban and commercially-oriented and turned agrarian and rural, reverting to the environment in which Judaism had found itself centuries earlier?
The third historic encounter of the Jews — this time with the Mongol conquest of the Middle East — offers the possibility to answer this question.
The Mongol invasion of Persia and Mesopotamia began in and culminated in the razing of Baghdad in It contributed to the demise of the urban and commercial economy of the Abbasid Empire and brought the economies of Mesopotamia and Persia back to an agrarian and pastoral stage for a long period.
As a consequence, a certain proportion of Persian, Mesopotamian, and then Egyptian, and Syrian Jewry abandoned Judaism. Its religious norms, especially the one requiring fathers to educate their sons, had once again become a costly religious sacrifice with no economic return.
And so a number of Jews converted to Islam. Once again, persecutions, massacres, and plagues e. But the voluntary conversions of Jews in the Middle East and North Africa, we argue, help explain why world Jewry reached its lowest level by the end of the 15th century.
The same mechanism that explains the decline of the Jewish population in the six centuries after the destruction of the Second Temple, that is, accounts for the decline of the Jewish communities of the Middle East in the two centuries following the Mongol shock.
None of this was planned. The rabbis and scholars who transformed Judaism into a religion of literacy during the first centuries of the first millennium, could not have foreseen the profound impact of their decision to make every Jewish man capable of reading and studying the Torah and, later, the Mishna, the Talmud, and other religious texts.
However, an apparently odd choice of religious norm—the enforcement of literacy in a mostly illiterate, agrarian world, potentially risky in that the process of conversions could make Judaism too costly and thus disappear—turned out to be the lever of the Jewish economic success and intellectual prominence in the subsequent centuries up to today.
How Education Shaped Jewish History, Haim Rubin, Tel Aviv, ; It. Amongst the many different answers given for it, a particular one emerged.
Most likely owing to a common socialist culture, the intellectuals that took part in this project explained that the rise of new forms of anti-Semitism could be better understood through the economic prism, therefore presenting anti-Semitism as a response to the economic struggle intensified by capitalism, and ultimately as a form of resentment that spread amongst impoverished middle classes.
He claimed that anti-Semitism and hatred against the Jews were to be compared to the expulsion of the Huguenots from France in seventeenth century, as economic and religious persecution usually ran parallel.
The religious persecutions of the Huguenots could be explained as economic persecution that applied perfectly to Jews of the nineteenth century.
According to this explanation, Catholic religious intolerance caused the expulsion of the most dynamic factions of society, and thus provoked the decline of Catholic nations.
How these arguments developed since the early modern period cannot be explored here. Nevertheless, they provide an ideal framework for the understanding of recent trends in historiography of the Jews and Judaism.
Religion and economy have been at the core of scholarly debate and public discussion since the inception of modernity as such. The groundbreaking work of Max Weber and his underlining critique of Marxist interpretation of religion and economy played — and in some ways continue to play — a key role in addressing research in the field of religion and economic modernization.
Weber also assigned a significant role to Judaism, although his work contributed to fueling an enormous debate and some resentful reactions, especially from Jewish intellectuals.
Scholarly research on the economic behavior of religious minorities, and more precisely of merchant communities, has attracted a lot of attention.
Works such as Yuri Slezkin and Francesca Trivellato, to mention just a few, analyzed the role of religious and ethnic minorities and the services they provided for their host communities from different angles.
In this sense, the book of Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein is a novelty in the recent historiographical setting, and therefore calls for a short commentary.
Attempts to write a comprehensive history of Judaism are very rare: Both perspectives are culturally charged, the first one being from a Jewish standpoint, and the second from a Christian stance.
Nevertheless, both are interesting as they convey modes of understanding Judaism in its extraordinary long history and in holistic terms: Ancient Judaism underwent a form of seismic modification that, as Botticini and Eckstein describe, redefined the religious structure of Judaism.
The most typical example is the disappearance of the sacrificial system that was organized around the temple of Jerusalem following its destruction in 70 CE.
Forster is a versatile artist. His talent ranges from the sensitive boyhood saga of s Afghanistan-set The Kite Runner, which was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Golden Globe, to s big budget blockbuster World War Z, with Brad Pitt trying to save the world by stopping the spread of a Zombie apocalypse.
Now Forster is breaking new ground with Hand of God, a vigilante-themed show with a religious subtext available on Amazon Prime, which instantly streams movies and TV shows.
Forster directed Hand of God s pilot plus episodes of the drama. It s Marc s first time making television. So it s really a landmark moment.
Somebody like Marc, a world class filmmaker - it s Marc s vision of doing television. In , director Oliver Stone and actor John Travolta took part in a press conference at the Baur au Lac five star hotel as part of the Swiss premiere of their feature film Savages - which co-starred Travolta and Lively - at the Zurich Film Festival.
Forster also participated in the Zurich Film Festival as a juror for the Association for the Promotion of Film in Switzerland, which awards a , CHF prize to one or more Swiss filmmakers, whose projects are currently in the late production or post-production phase.
Forster also joined the Association s president, two-time Oscar winning actor Christoph Waltz, for a keynote speech on cinema at the Zurich Summit, which took place at the Dolder Grand.
From Left to Right: It s about a woman - the back story is about a woman who lost her sight when she was 15 and basically my original idea was that when I m writing a screenplay - I ll give you a little bit of a long explanation so you know how I came up with the idea.
When I m writing a screenplay or making a movie I always feel like I m confined by the characters for the storytelling. I don t really want to make - it s hard to create a visual language that is outside the realm of the motivation of the characters.
I feel like I m always more focused on that because - and I felt like, as a director, I wanted to have the freedom to create a visual language, sort of like when someone paints.
I realized that someone who lost their sight when they are a teenager, their reality sort of comes together through imagination and basically memory, sounds, their emotional state and so on.
So I wanted to explore a character whose reality consists of that. In essence the movie is about a couple, they re married, they re expats, they live in Bangkok.
And she lost her sight when she was 15 - basically, she regains her sight through surgery and her husband takes her again to where they had their honeymoon.
Last time they went there for their honeymoon she was blind and now she can see. It s a journey - basically, her entire - their relationship begins to shift.
And things get revealed you didn t know about. It s a love story and on that journey, things get discovered about the characters, about the human condition, about how people have these complex co-dependencies between each other.
We just wrapped [shooting] in August. It s basically coming out next year. Who plays the woman who was blind? You know, I really loved working with Blake.
She was, I thought, really extraordinary and she really gave a great performance. I asked for her even before The Age of Adaline [a film wherein Lively plays Adaline Bowman, a woman who never ages] - I loved her performance in that movie as well.
She was great to work with, I really enjoyed the process. Blake did a lot of research, spent time with people who lost their sight in their late teens and played with that.
She wore contact lenses that put her in that state, how much she d be able to see. She took it very, very seriously.
This spacious luxury apartment with two bedrooms and two bathrooms is unique in The Chedi and is exclusively available from our agency. What was it like working with her?
Look, I love Halle. Obviously, because of the movie, I have a really soft spot for her. I think she s just - we had a really fantastic time and I truly respect her as an artist and as a person.
Brad was great to work with. Like, I really enjoyed the process as a director. It s basically, ultimately, with the Bond movie - I loved Barbara Broccoli [daughter of Albert Cubby Broccoli, who produced many movies going back to the first Bond picture, s Dr.
No ], the producer - she s amazing. At the end of the day, what was hard - we never had a final script. So I really directed it - because there was a writers strike and we only had half a script.
So we had to figure out the plot a lot while we were shooting. It s pretty much Daniel Craig and I in a trailer. Please discuss the Amazon original series Hand of God?
Ben Watkins is the writer and creator of the show. Hand of God is a psychological drama that starts with a really high powered judge [Ron Perlman as Pernell Harris] who goes through a major personal crisis when his son attempts suicide.
In the aftermath he kind of goes crazy or has a breakdown and is also born again. He thinks he s hearing messages from God to get vengeance for what happened to his son It s a show Ben and I are really excited and passionate about.
I hope a lot of people will tune into it and watch it. I think if you watch a couple of episodes of Hand of God, you ll watch them all. People can watch it on Amazon Prime in the autumn.
There are ten episodes for season one and it s my first time doing television. What are some of your favourite hidden places in Switzerland? You know, I love the mountains.
There s something really beautiful and magical about the Alps. Ultimately, when I was a kid in Davos, there s so much in nature that you can learn.
I grew up without television and so forth. So when I was living there at Davos I often wasn t entertained - I had to entertain myself.
I played a lot in the woods and forest; I had to entertain myself instead of being entertained as a kid, which connected me deeply with nature and just was always an inspiration.
There s some beautiful, magical places. I loved hiking a lot up in the Alps. I remember very vividly when I was a kid I went with my school, we were hiking, and I suddenly fell.
I was falling because I was not looking at the path, I was just looking at the peak where we were going. Ultimately, I fell and hurt my knee.
And suddenly, I came to this realization: If I had looked at the path in front of me I wouldn t have fallen. Instead, I was looking at the peak. So, it came to me, this lesson: That it s really key in life, just to walk your path, and look at your path in front of you, instead of looking at ultimately to where you want to go - if you start only orienting yourself to the goal of where you want to go you really miss out on life.
Which Swiss Deluxe Hotels have you stayed at? I mean, the Dolder Grand in Zurich is just phenomenal! It doesn t get any better.
It s one of the greatest hotels. They re all beautiful, extraordinary hotels. Moritz, Gstaad - all those places are very beautiful.
Tschuggen Grand Hotel offers one of the most impressive spa areas in Europe with a mountain backdrop of amazing vistas. With the Tschuggen mountain oasis star architect Mario Botta has created a world of light and space, nature and geometry, warmth and water.
As soon as you arrive at the Tschuggen Grand Hotel at dusk you will witness the special fascinating architectural masterpiece of the spa extension.
The building that today comprises hotel rooms has its origins in In it came into family ownership and started the Tschuggen Hotel Group, to which also the Swiss Deluxe Hotels Carlton Hotel St.
Moritz and Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona belong, among others. The hotels own mountain railway, the Tschuggen Express brings guests to the more than m altitude of the Tschuggen hut, in the middle of the ski region.
Le style de Mario Botta se distingue par ses lignes pures, minimalistes et intemporelles. Mario Botta s style follows a clear, minimal and timeless line.
The main materials that he used for the Tschuggen mountain oasis are Duke White Granite from the Alps, Arosa rock, glass, steel and Canadian maple wood.
Cela implique un difficile et spectaculaire dynamitage de la roche. In the best hands The Tschuggen Grand Hotel has been managed by Leo Maissen for seven years, who was awarded Hotelier of the Year in In the last ten years nearly CHF million has been invested in the luxurious house.
Internationally renowned Swiss architect and visionary Mario Botta won the architectural competition at the time. Mario Botta wanted to supplement the 70 s building of the Grand Hotel with a construction on the neighbouring mountain.
This required expensive and spectacular rock blasting. The result is an imposing spa over 5, m 2, which is integrated into the natural form of the mountain and spread across four storeys - a true masterpiece.
So that enough light gets into the mountain structure, Mario Botta commissioned new light sails, of up to 16 metres high, to be built from glass and steel, that were flown in by helicopter.
The levels are also visually connected to one another with these light sources. From the modern and expansive fitness area in the first storey, through the passages flooded with light you can see the sauna area and the treatment room and right through to the watery world.
Each level also offers its own terrace. Infrastructure The fourth floor of the Tschuggen Bergoase is flooded with light that forms an impressive watery world with an alpine granite wall.
It invites you to swim with pools both inside and out, to sit in the whirlpool, to a Kneipp bath or to one of the Four Seasons showers in the stone grotto of the original Arosa cliffs.
The sauna area includes a ladies, as well as a mixed sauna area, with biosauna and steam bath. Alongside this awaiting guests next to the terrace is the prize-winning Klafs mountain sauna made from Arosa wood.
The Tschuggen mountain oasis also offers a multitude of treatments with a therapeutic focus. The offering includes an in-house doctor, physiotherapists, medical masseurs, medical wellness with laser medicine, dermatology and anti-ageing treatments, cosmetics, a hairdressing salon, a large fitness centre with indoor and outdoor programs, as well as a separate meditation room.
Up to over m with the private mountain railway Guests who want to take in the mountain air or go out with the skiers, can enjoy the luxury of the hotels own mountain railway - the Tschuggen Express.
Two extremely comfortable and modern gondolas, each with leather seats for six people, bring you to the more than m altitude of the Tschuggen hut in just a few minutes; right in the middle of the kilometre wide Arosa Lenzerheide ski area, and in summer to endless miles of maintained hiking paths.
Both elegantly designed spa suites are fitted with loungers and a small bar area and promise pure rejuvenation in a private ambience. Each of them offers a steam bath and a sauna, as well as a Jacuzzi, directly beneath the glass sail that brings the sky and the mountain world even closer.
His trademark is his grass green chef s whites. It shows Pierre Crepaud s connection with nature that he uses a limitless inspirational reservoir of ideas, tastes and ingredients.
Today he is characterised by 16 GaultMillau points, 1 star Guide Michelin and a refreshing innovative force. Parce qu'elle cuisinait avec amour.
He has well over 5, friends on Facebook, has reached the limit and new requests are blocked. Pierre Crepaud also posts images, ideas, recipes and impressions of his creations on Instagram daily.
Comments from around the world are also not long in coming. A new generation of chefs use social media to exchange ideas, for further development and last but not least for their own marketing, of course.
In future comments and entries from online profiles will also influence prestigious gastronomic leaders, such as GaultMillau or the Michelin Guide, Pierre Crepaud is convinced.
Both positively as well as negatively. His teachers and role models include names such as Alain Ducasse, Marc Veyrat or Jean Sulpice from whom he has learned the art of mountain cuisine, above all else.
Endurance athlete and inventor In his free time family man Pierre Crepaud is out and about a lot in the natural world and exploring the limits of his physical endurance.
Smoked salt is created in his fumoir, he extracts syrup from the fir trees in the nearby forest and he picks fresh herbs and edible flowers in his herb garden in the yard of the hotel.
The desire for taste Almost all the products come from the region. The veal from the Simmental, cheese from the Alps above Crans and the vegetables from his own vegetable garden down in the village.
As a child Pierre Crepaud thought he would be a market gardener. Together with his grandfather he grew and cooked vegetables in the garden.
The pathway to becoming a chef lead him to the desire for taste. With a new recipe I always have an impression of a taste in mind, and I want to create this from the products, says Pierre Crepaud.
My style of cooking is very technical and is based on the creation of taste, not on fixed courses or rigid processes, explains Crepaud.
And we must also cook more with gut feeling, he continues. My mother was also a fantastic cook - why? Almost all the products come from the region.
LeMontBlanc, le restaurant de Pierre Crepaud. Pierre Crepaud's restaurant LeMontblanc. Ses vacances se passent en Toscane ou dans le sud de la France.
Inspiration from Mediterranean As much as Pierre Crepaud loves the mountains and its products, he loves to look for new ideas and inspiration in the Mediterranean.
He travels with his children to Tuscany or the South of France on his holidays. The subject of eating and cooking is ever present - also in leisure time.
Routine is the biggest danger, says Pierre Crepaud. Which is why he tries to make every day in his life different.
He also loves meeting new people, who give him new ideas and adventures. With raclette cheese and Alpine herbs simple dishes are turned into a gourmet menu for skiers in winter, cyclists in summer and everyone who s looking for the fine handiwork of the chef, even in simple creations.
Anyone who wants to closely watch the chef can do so at Table de Pierre in the kitchen. At the pass between kitchen and restaurant you can feel the energy of Pierre Crepaud up close and look forward to each course.
And for dessert there s the famous spun sugar, another trademark of Pierre Crepaud. Much to the delight of children, large and small.
And with this sweet pink reminder of childhood from the funfair this completes the circuit of Pierre Crepaud s colourful world, the chef in green and his fondness for always discovering something surprising in nature.
No wonder some guests just don t want to leave. The Chedi Andermatt Arosa: Hotel Splendide Royal Luzern: Beau- Rivage Hotel Pontresina: Grand Hotel Kronenhof St.
Moritz Kulm Hotel St. Moritz Suvretta House Vevey: Park Hotel Vitznau Weggis: The Dolder Grand in Zurich. Here, Caminada invites guests to embark upon a new culinary experience.
The new restaurant will allow guests to experience an entirely different gastronomic concept. The philosophy is based on the idea of sharing, of coming together to enjoy and share exquisite cuisine, and thereby aims to create a more social experience.
We want to bring people together around the table, to get them eating together, speaking to each other, sharing ideas while enjoying some of the same meals and dishes, says the top chef.
The restaurant previously known as the Äbtestube will be renamed Igniv, which is the Rhaeto-Romanic word for nest, and thus the perfect name for the concept.
This name represents enjoyable moments spent with family and friends, or simply with warm and friendly people of any age.
The new restaurant concept is certainly something that will attract guests young and old and is truly a new and exciting idea. Three generations are united at our resort grandparents, parents and children all under the same roof.
Une table d'exception et un sublime art culinaire. Un spa de tout premier ordre. Ses menus sont bien plus qu'excellents: La cuisine est moderne: An address for excellent cuisine and impressive art.
A special class of spa. The German has been carrying out his role at the hobs in The Restaurant since opening.
Not only are the menus very good. They are bold and they challenge the guest. Every single course is prepared to almost complete perfection, from components that are cleverly coordinated with one another.
The cuisine is modern: Even every single veg course has vigour and class. The critics doff their hats: In the last few months the Garden Restaurant has grown.
Chef Patrick Hetz receives the 14th point; any less would not be befitting of such a noble resort. New general manager Mark Jacob and his staff have redefined hospitality: Professional but still hearty.
Courteous but never servile. Now the Dolder really is grand. Served by more than star-rated chefs. Pellegrino, the icon of fine food on the world s best tables, partners with Vogue Italia, a symbol of Style and Fashion design.
Nenad Mlinarevic, 34, from the Park Hotel Vitznau. Le nom du restaurant annonce le programme. Marlin Fish your dish The Lucerne Palace has offered a new restaurant concept with the Marlin restaurant since summer Closeness to water is reflected in the menu of the Marlin.
In which there are seafood variants, as well as classics and new interpretations of national and international fish dishes. Chef Armin Egli and his team look forward to pampering hotel guests, as well as local guests from May onwards, with a variety of new culinary creations.
The name reflects the program and so fish and seafood are the focus, however, also exciting alternatives are offered on the menu.
Anyone who wants to can also catch their fish themselves. The special Fish your dish range offers a trip to the natural pond in Römerswil, where with a bit of luck, you can catch your supper yourself.
The chefs in the Marlin restaurant then turn the catch into a tasty meal. At the Marlin not only does the experienced kitchen team look after the welfare of the national and international guests, but host Anja Friedrich also supports them along with her team in the Lucerne Palace.
Pour ce faire, le zurichois n'a pour autant pas choisi la voie facile. Pour une table tout simplement incontournable. Nenad Mlinarevic is Chef of the Year Talent, handiwork, palate: In at his first post as Chef of the Neuen Blumenau he immediately received 15 points from the restaurant guide and the award of Discovery of the Year.
It was a promise for the future that the native of Zurich has impressively kept five years later. Not just that this year he has accumulated 18 points and the prestigious award of Chef of the Year, but what is also noteworthy is HOW.
Mlinarevic has defined his own style, his substantially pared down dishes stand for intense flavours and culinary maturity. In the process the man from Zurich intentionally made it hard.
For some time he has only used Swiss products - even olive oil, lemons or pepper have been removed from the drawers in his kitchen.
The focus Restaurant in the Park Hotel Vitznau serves char instead of turbot, leeks instead of langoustines and Holzen beef instead of lobster.
What sounds like doing without, is in fact a gain. One must have eaten there. At an altitude of 1, metres the Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina offers elegant rooms and suites in Engadine patrician house style, fabulous wellness facilities and one the most beautiful neo-baroque restaurants in the Alps.
Since skilled hotelier Daniel Stauch has been concierge of the renowned and listed 5-star superior Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina, which has been named No.
Born in Germany he learnt about the Engadine from friends and fell in love with the beauty of this exceptional world of lakes and mountains straight away.
Consciously he decided on the role as concierge, as it is part of his approach to life and he loves to be in direct and close contact with his guests.
With dedication to his task he always charms his guests anew and creates a pleasant and informal atmosphere with his sincere and open manner.
The close and personal, but discreet contact with his guests is highly respected and rewarded with a lot of trust.
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