"History is repeating itself because as humans we discard the truths of others and only accept our own, often at the expense of others." prolog
When I recently watched the DaVinci Code on TV, I was once again reminded of how novels, especially historical or alternative stories, can highlight historical moments. For example, in this film I could see through the time in which Constantinople had proclaimed Christianity as a national religion in Italy. In fact, it only presented graphically what I had already studied with Jews in Italy: A Perspective of the Jewish Communities in Italy by Adolph Caso.
Have you ever attended an online course? Interested? I enjoyed it very much – lyrics, great historical and fitting pictures and online discussions by the Dante University moderators!
I have selected the points that interest me most personally to highlight them in this review, since Caso's text is such an intense story of the life of the Jews in Italy that it is impossible to treat the material properly! Obviously, the contributions of the Jews to the world in all areas are immense.
From about 161 BC Rome gave hospitality and religious tolerance to the Jewish people, which was unique because they were enslaved elsewhere! Rome has a Jewish community and is at the same time the center of Christianity. In fact, in the absence of a state of Israel – from 70 to 1947 AD – the Jewish communities of Rome became the state of Israel.
Caso's research provides a perspective on Rome's situation as they attempt to control their conquered lands, particularly with the emergence of Jesus and his claim as Messiah, which led to acts of rebellion. Later, Peter, the successor of Christ, gave the Catholic Church a physical structure. Attached to the principles of their Jewish religion, which were neither forgotten nor denied, Judaism as the foundation of Christianity as a religion survived alongside Christianity itself.
While the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and its temple around AD 70, the Jews were able to build a synagogue around 100 AD, the first outside Israel. It became the new center of the Jewish world in Rome. This meaning meant that the Romans were more than willing to lead the visible and active lifestyle of the Jews … as free citizens
Then the Civil War began to raise its ugly head over political and religious issues. While persecution of Christians continued to be widespread, the political scene culminated in Constantine Kaiser and Christianity becoming state religion
While all these things happened to them – wherever they were – the rising Christians continued to be inspired by certain Jews and boldly drew on Judaism – its literature, its liturgy, its customs and rules. "Ironically, at a time when everyone was so hopeless and abused, they must have witnessed the transformation of Judaism into Christianity."
Even as more wars and battles were waged, the bottom line was that Jews could stay in Italy. In fact, Jews fled to Italy when they sought asylum so many years later before the German Hitler … and it was the Pope himself who personally engaged to provide them with security. Despite the fascist nation, the Catholic Church operated something like a subway. Pope Pius shared
"Mark well that Abraham is our patriarch and great-grandfather in the Catholic Mass. Anti-Semitism is incompatible with the haughty thoughts that this fact expresses, it is a movement that we Christians have nothing to do with."
In Italy and other parts of Europe where Italians were stationed, more than seventy-five percent of native Jews were rescued; The opposite was the case elsewhere. This result spoke volumes in the name of the hearts of most Italians. Only a few countries have achieved such a nobility.
When another's words can penetrate deep into our minds and force us to face the atrocities that have occurred, when one people arbitrarily chooses to hate and abuse another, we all must realize that we must all work together, to find ways in which we can improve. The perspective of Adolfo Caso has shown that a nation has made it. May we all read this text and use it for the future!
* Online internet course available at Dante University, presented by Adolph Caso, author, publisher and president of the Dante University Foundation
Jews in Italy:
A perspective of the Jewish
Municipalities in Italy
By Adolfo Caso
116 pages text / video *