By Isaac Husik
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Additional info for A History of Medieval Jewish Philosophy
68 The Amoraim continued this viewpoint (b. Qidd. 62ab; b. Yeb. 76a, 109b; b. Sanh. 96b, 99b; b. Mena~. 44a; b. Cit. 56b; b. Ned. 13b). The statements by rabbis concerning the legal status of proselytes sheds some light on their attitude. 69 In the rabbinic literature the legal status of proselytes (Could the proselyte marry a Jew? a priest? a high priest? a nattn? a 'Cuthean? a mamzer? ) was greatly debated, and a large portion of evidence about proselytes is found in these halakic discussions.
It ought to be noted how the Letter ofAristeas, in one of its strongest separatistic comments, ties that separation into moral purity: God gave the laws to us so "that we might not mingle at all with any of the other nations but remain pure in body and soul, free from all vain imaginations, worshipping the one Almighty God above the whole creation" (139; APOT). " Separation, therefore, is construed positively, as living a holy life. In Jubilees, a strongly separatistic book, the reason for separation is not nationalism or conceit (though at times the author may give that impression), but rather because Gentiles are sinners (1:19; 6:35; 15:34; et passim).
28a). He argued from Isa. 10:13 and Jer. 30:3. In Mek. Amalek, parashah 2, lines 177-86 (Exod. 17:14-16), Rabbi Eliezer b. Hyrcanus is reported as accepting every nation that requested citizenship-except Amalek. Eliezer infers his decision from the forgiving, loving nature of God (par. 3, lines 158-64). Few scholars accept these texts at face value; however, the aspirations present in these texts may reflect serious theological disputes at the time of their composition. Further, I suspect that they reflect social dissonance: some Jews were prone to accept proselytes while others were not.
A History of Medieval Jewish Philosophy by Isaac Husik