Sociology 101 Essay, Research Paper
By: Chris Reeh
This article is about Spanish rabbi-poet named Judah Halevi. He lived in a society in which Jews were socially powerless. They were also influenced heavily by the dominant Islamic culture. He wrote many poems and books. His poetry brought a deeper sense of the Jewish spirituality to many people. This had been unheard of in previous generations. His famed Ode to Zion has been used for centuries in the religious studies.
Christianity and Islam were in a war of the religious giants. However the Jews in medieval Spain had very few privileges. Some of the Jews felt at home in the Islamic society. The Jews were free to live in the Islamic world as long as they paid a special tax to the Muslim rulers. They also had to submit an order forbidding them to own Muslim slaves. Jews could not build new synagogues. However they had their own legal system and social services. Because of their restrictions it led to a sense of alienation for some of the Jews. Due to all of the restrictions the Jews had Halevi thought the Jews were a calamitous and wounded people, who were unsure of their place in the human history. Halevi decided to go to the Holy Land when he was 50 years old.
This article is an example of the conflict theory. The imbalance of power is that the Jews had many restrictions. For example, they could not build new synagogues or own Muslim slaves. They had to practice the Islamic culture. The Jews in that area were forced to believe in things they did not want to. Because of this some of the Jews left unknowingly. The Muslim rulers were destructive towards the Jews. This pertains to the conflict theory really well with the imbalance of power, destructiveness, and the opposition to one another.
I thought that this article was pretty good. It was written real well. I learned a lot from this article. I did not know that the Jews had that many restrictions. I always thought they had a lot of power. If they did not want to believe what the Muslims wanted them to then that should have been their right. They also should have been able to build new synagogues if they saw the need to. Overall this was very intellectual for my sociology learning skills.