Professor Noam Pines from the University of Buffalo, Department of Jewish thought, presented his new book last week in Clemens Hall. ”The Infrahuman: Animality in Modern Jewish Literature”. It explores a little-known aspect of major pre www2 Jewish literature mostly in Europe. The idea that antisemitic rhetoric used different animals such as the dog, destitute that Jews were like vermin, dirt, subhuman, mumzers and other belittling characterizations. The Jewish writers with the usage of these same animals expressed the positive side of these animals used as a symbol of difference by staying in the humanity overall view of Jews, in a more positive light.
Most of the Jewish writing during this symbol of difference and defiance of the ignorance of Jew haters using these symbols that we have seen in all the fuel in Europe and elsewhere to see the Jews in a stereotypical negative way. These Jewish writers would put into theological terms rather than in racial biological terms.
Ironically, separate from pre ww2, these symbols I saw in Poland when I did a tour of the death camps, and in the different polish cities, some of the artwork on walls and buildings of animals as well, still depict Jews unfortunately in a negative stereotypical wIt’s Its unbelievable, there are only 3,000 Jews in Poland today and this still goes on, after millions of our brothers and sisters that were killed in there country. There are a lot of good people, who do not see Jews like this, but it still exist, and we must always challenge this and like the writers, it needs to be put right with humanity objectives. Dr. Professor Pines book gives you awareness and approach with this from the past after thought and even the possibility of the present.
Professor Pines expressed this both auditory, and visual presentation with good questioning from the audience, and good overview from professor Pines colleagues.
I encourage the readers of One Stop to check out this book, and definitely check out the Department of Jewish Thought at UB for courses and there list of speakers at Jewishfirstname.lastname@example.org
Nathan (Nachum) Sull