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Tzedakah - צדקה
Jewish communities around the world, always and everywhere, regardless of the type of particular religious observance, are sharing the same fundamental belief in making the world a better place. 

A system of social ethics based on tzedakah is the definitive principle of judaism. The complex idea of tzedakah is synonymous with social justice. (The Hebrew root (צ.ד.ק.)refers to truth, justice, righteousness and charity) The most important ethical values of Western civilization and Christianity – respect of the dignity of the human being, solidarity, mutual assistance, tolerance – are based on this ancient Jewish principle. In our column we aim to analyse and understand aspects of social justice and human rights.    We would like to deal with the phenomenon of social discrimination, the status of the people on the edge of society: as the poor, the Roma population, the disabled , the refugees and the members of the LGBTQ+ community, and also with the  dilemmas related to anti-semitism.  The values of Judaism do not differ essentially from general moral values. But the thinkers of Judaism deduce their underlying ethical principles from the Holy Scripture and its annotations, the Talmud and the later Jewish commentary literature. 

The STRANGERS and the Attitudes towards Strangers in Europe
The goal of our paper is to provide some conceptual arguments and empirical results to the phenomena of xenophobia based on two quantitative sociological surveys. The researches were carried out a few years before the recent refugee crisis, so the surveys can be recognized as antecedent to the shocking events of the last year. The dramatic year of 2015 with the refugee crises makes extremely interesting to examine how the attitudes towards strangers in different countries of Europe have changed earlier, and how the crises led to changes in the general attitudes toward immigrants, towards Europe and towards nation-states. On the other hand, from an analytical point of view to understand xenophobia in operation the temporal distance has advantages because attitudes towards strangers and immigrants can be examined in a significantly less tense and politically less hysterical world. Besides, we are not only interested in the extent of xenophobia but also searching for more typical sociological determinants, and also cognitive-affective social psychological mechanisms which may influence everyday attitudes towards foreigners.

Author: Prof. Dr. Örkény Antal, PhD, DSc

Tzedakah for the exiles of the numerus clausus studying in Italy
The “exiles of the numerus clausus” (1920) – Hungarian Jews, who between the two world wars became migrant students under the pressure of the numerus clausus law, were supported by Hungarian Jewry during their studies abroad in various forms of tzedakah. The emigration of numerus clausus exiles started as a spontaneous movement, but the Central Jewish Student Aid Committee rendered it more organized with the aim of preventing the anti-Semitic numerus clausus law’s goals: pushing out Jews from intelligentsia and reversing Jewish social mobility. As an impact of the well-organized tzedakah, Hungarian Jews of lower middle class origin, who were the first generation in their families to acquire higher education, were also able to graduate from universities abroad. This article presents the sources of tzedakah specifically aimed at numerus clausus exiles studying in Italy. In addition, a group of archival sources is presented that identifies a group of numerus clausus exiles.

Author: Kelemen Ágnes Katalin, Ph.D. - hallgató

The article overviews the biography of Béla Székely (1892-1955) journalist and psychologist. It summarizes three periods of his life activities. 1. Between 1918 and 1926 he was a journalist and Zionist activist in Transylvania, founder of the weekly Új Kelet, author of A Country in Travail, a travel report of his visit in Palestine. 2. Between 1926 and1938 he was a leftist journalist, psychologist, a friend of the poet Attila József, editor of the psychological journal Emberismeret. 3. Between 1938 and 1955 he was immigrant in Argentina, a well-known psychologist in Latin America, and supported the Hungarian Jewry after the Holocaust.

Author: Prof. Erős Ferenc

The Halukkah. Various Thoughts about a Debatable Aid System
It is a well-known fact that there are no dogmas in Judaism, however there are quite a few well-established ideas that cannot be questioned easily. One of these basic religious traditions has an utmost importance: the focal point of the Jewish religion is the Holy City of Jerusalem and the Land of the Holy One. This idea follows the Jews in their everyday religious practices from the womb to the grave. The whole Jewish existence outside of the Holy Land was considered to be a temporal phase during the Middle Ages, and the longing for the ancient homeland never ceased to be alive in the Jewish mind. One of the most important achievements of Rabbinical Judaism has been the emphasis on the land, which they had to leave behind for certain reasons but which they have never abandoned entirely. Beside the vivid pictures of the Holy City and the Holy Land in everyday and festive Jewish liturgy, the sometimes strong, sometimes weaker ties between the Diaspora and the Jewish communities of the Land of Israel not only kept the memory of the holy places alive but helped the Jewish people to be in physical contact with their former homeland. These ties had very practical, i.e. financial aspects, as well. The Jewish communities in the Holy Land survived with the help of the generous support of the Jews in the Diaspora, that developed into an elaborated system of donation called Halukkah in Hebrew. The following article the author intends to explore the different aspects of these practical connections between the Diaspora Jews and the Jewish communities of the Holy Land in the light of the traditional rabbinical literature, and the modern Jewish press in Central East Europe.

Author: Dr. Kárpáti Judit, Ph.D.

Társadalometikai partikularizmus vs. univerzalizmus Akiva és Azzai vitájában. Zsidó értékek a Szináj hegytől napjainkig
Particularism vs. universalism in Social Ethics in the argument of Akiva and Azzai. Jewish Values from the Sinai Mountain to the Present In his essay the author presents the main social ethical issues occurring in the Torah in general, and in the Book of Exodus and in the Book of Leviticus in particular. In his analysis that is based on the Schwarz’s theory he discusses less known frameworks of concepts and thoughts, such as the ethical – moral monotheism of the Sinai Mountain; the system of Jewish values, i.e. the klalim; Rabbi Akiva’s ethical particularism versus Rabbi Ben Azzai’s ethical universalism. The main social ethical, social historical issues of the 21st century can be interpreted in a special way with the help of this Jewish theological framework, and thus there is a possibility to find answers also for the dilemmas of present day Europe.

Author: Dr. Háberman Zoltán, PhD

„Cidkatcha Cedek” - A társadalmi igazságosság eszméje a budapesti Rabbiképző történetében
A Budapesten a közel 150 éve folyamatosan működő, mai nevén Országos Rabbiképző – Zsidó Egyetem történetét szeretném bemutatni – a zsidó szociális munkás szemszögéből. Hogyan és miért jött létre? Hogyan keresi a helyét, és milyen válaszokat ad a szociális problémákra ma? A Rabbiszeminárium története az új utakat kereső, változni képes, ugyanakkor mindig a hagyomány és az ősi tradíciót megtartó zsidó közösség története. A történelem hatalmas viharai ellenére hogyan tudott fennmaradni egy közösség, egy a magyarországi zsidó közösségbe beágyazott felsőoktatási intézmény? Erre keresek válaszokat a Zsidó Egyetem történetén keresztül. A mintegy 150 év alatt hosszabban csak egy évig szünetelt az oktatás: 1944-ben.

Author: Dr. Háberman Zoltán, PhD