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Jewish RadicalsA Documentary History$
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Tony Michels

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814757437

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814757437.001.0001

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“It Wasn’t Difficult for Me to Reject Judaism” (memoir; 1965)

“It Wasn’t Difficult for Me to Reject Judaism” (memoir; 1965)

(p.70) 5 “It Wasn’t Difficult for Me to Reject Judaism” (memoir; 1965)
Jewish Radicals

Paul Jacobs

NYU Press

This chapter discusses the radicalization of Paul Jacobs, who was born to a German-Jewish family in New York City before becoming a “professional revolutionist.” Jacobs remarks that he did not become a radical because of a difficult background or because he was anti-Semitic. While he officially rejected Judaism during his school years, his eventual departure from the faith had been marked by his experiences over the years of the Jewish culture and education he received at home. For him, Judaism was lukewarm, and even defensive, approach to life—the religion did not stir him and, as a whole, even discouraged any attempts to make “rishis”—meaning, to stir up a fuss of some kind, as they did not want to attract the attention of the predominantly Christian world.

Keywords:   Paul Jacobs, Judaism, rishis, religion, radicalization

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