When and how did this extraordinary Jewish status of “guests everywhere” begin? The conventional wisdom suggests that the centuries-old Jewish diaspora should be dated from the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in AD70; and that, after being thrown out of their native land, the Jews began wandering around the world. However, it is not true because “the great majority of the Jews were already dispersed by that time; hardly more than one-eighth of the nation lived in Palestine.” The Jewish Diaspora had begun much earlier: “The Jews were mainly a dispersed nation by the time of the Babylonian captivity [6th century B.C.] and, possibly, even earlier; Palestine was only a religious and, to certain extent, a cultural center.”
Scattering of the Jews was already foretold in the Pentateuch. “I will scatter you among the nations” (Leviticus 26:33). “Yahweh will scatter you among the peoples, and you shall be left few in number among the nations” (Deuteronomy 4:27).
“Only a small part of the Jews had returned from the [Babylonian] captivity; many had remained in Babylon as they did not want to abandon their property.” Large settlements were established outside of Palestine; “large numbers of Jews concentrated … in major trade and industrial centers of the ancient world.” (For example, in Alexandria under Ptolemaic dynasty, Jews accounted for two-fifth of the population.) “They were, mainly, traders and craftsmen.” The Jewish-Hellenistic philosopher Philo Judaeus (who died in the middle of the 1st century, 20 years before the destruction of the Temple) states: “[The Jews] regard the Holy City as their metropolis because the Holy Temple of Almighty God is situated there, and they call “homeland” the countries where they live, and where their fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers and ancient forebears lived, and where they were born and brought up.”
Mikhail Gershenzon mused on the fates of the Jewish nation after the Babylonian captivity: “[The Jews] took roots in foreign lands and, contrary to expectations, didn’t aspire to return to their old homeland.” “Just recall: the Kingdom of Judah was still there, yet most of the Jews were already scattered across the whole Middle East; the Second Temple still stood in all its splendor, but the Language of the Bible was no longer heard on the streets and in the houses of Jerusalem; everybody spoke either Syrian or Greek there.” Even back then the Jews were inclined to think: “We should not hold dear our national independence, we should learn to live without it, under foreign rule; we should not become attached to a land or to a single language.”
Modern Jewish authors agree: “The Jews in the ancient world were scattered and established large centers in the Diaspora even before the collapse of Jewish nationhood.” “The nation which was given the Law did not want to return to its native country. There is some very profound and still not understood meaning in it. It is much easier to chat about Jewish values and about the preservation of Jewry than to explain the true reasons for such a long Galut.” (Even in the mid-20th century the Hebrew language still had no word for “Diaspora” as for the living in the voluntary scattering, there was only “Galut,” referring to the forced exile.)
From the historical evidence we see that the scattering of the Jews was not solely their unfortunate fate, but also a voluntary quest. Indeed, it was a bemoaned disaster, but could it also be a method of making life easier? This is an important question in attempting to understand the Diaspora.
The Jews still do not have a generally accepted view on the Diaspora, whether it has been blessing for them or a bane.
Zionism, from the very moment of its birth, responded to this question firmly (and fully in line with its essence): “Our scattering is our biggest curse; it brings us no good, and no advantages and no peace to others as well…. We are guests everywhere … and we are still unwanted, everybody wants to get rid of us.” “To be a homeless man, feeling as a guest everywhere — this is the true curse of exile, its real bitterness!” “Some say that having several ‘homes’ improves chances to survive for the Jews. In my view, a nation staying in many other’s homes and not caring about its own cannot expect security. The availability of many homes corrupts.”
Yet the opposite opinion is even more prevalent, and it seems to be more credible. “Perhaps, the Jewish nation had survived and persevered not in spite of its exile, but because of it; the Jewish Diaspora is not an episode, but the organic ‘ingredient’ of Jewish history.”
“Was the Jewish nation preserved in all its uniqueness in spite of the exile and scattering or because of it? The tragedy of Jerusalem in AD70 destroyed the state, yet it was necessary to save the people”; “the extraordinarily intensified instinct of national self-preservation” prompted Jews toward salvation through Diaspora.” “Jewry was never able to fully comprehend its situation and the causes for it. They saw exile as the punishment for their sins, yet time and time again it turned out to be the dispensation by which the Lord has distinguished his nation. Through the Diaspora, the Jew worked out the mark of the Chosen he foresaw on his brow…. The scattered state of the nation is not unnatural for him…. Already in the periods of the most comfortable existence in their own state, Jewry was stationing garrisons on its route and spearheading vanguards in all directions, as if sensing its future dispersion and getting ready to retreat to the positions it had prepared in advance.” “Thus, the Diaspora is a special form of Jewish existence in space and time of this world.” And look how awesomely mobile are the Jews in Diaspora. “The Jewish people never strike root in one place, even after several generations.”
But after they were so widely scattered and had become small minorities among other nations, the Jews had to develop a clear position toward those nations — how to behave among them and how to relate to them, to seek ultimate bonding and merging with those nations, or to reject them and separate from them? The Holy Scripture contains quite a few covenants of isolation. The Jews avoided even their closest kindred neighbors, the Samaritans and Israelites, so irreconcilably that it was not permitted to even take a piece of bread from them. Mixed marriages were very strictly forbidden. “We will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons.” (Nehemiah 10:30) And Ezra had ordered them to dissolve even the existing marriages, even those with children.
Thus, living in Diaspora for thousands of years, the Jews did not mix with other nations, just as butter does not mix with water, but comes to the surface and floats. During all those long centuries, they perceived themselves as something distinct, and until the 18th century “the Jews as a nation have never shown any inclination for assimilation.” The pre-revolutionary Jewish Encyclopedia, while quoting Marx’s assertion that “the Jews had not assimilated, because they represented the highest economic class, that is the class of capitalists amidst the agricultural and petty bourgeois nations,” objects, saying that the economy was secondary: “the Jews of the Diaspora have consciously established their own economy which protected them from assimilation. They did it because they were conscious of their cultural superiority,” which, for its part, was created by “the spiritual meaning of Judaism in its most complete form. The latter protected them from imitation.”
But “from the mid-18th century the Jews started to believe in assimilation, and that becomes … the ferment of decomposition of the Jewish nation in Western Europe of the 19th century.” Assimilation begins when “the surrounding culture reaches the height held by the Jewish culture, or when the Jewry ceases to create new values.” The national will of the European Jews was weakened by the end of the 18th century; it had lost ground because of extremely long waiting. Other nations began creating brilliant cultures that eclipsed Jewish culture.” And exactly then Napoleon launched the Pan-European emancipation; in one country after another, the roads to social equality were opening before the Jews, and that facilitated assimilation. (There is an important caveat here: “There is no unilateral assimilation,” and “the assimilating Jews supplemented the host cultures with Jewish national traits.” Heine and Börne, Ricardo and Marx, Beaconsfield-Disraeli and Lassalle, Meyerbeer and Mendelssohn — “during their assimilation into the host cultures, they added Jewish elements to them.”)
In some cases, assimilation leads to a brighter creative personal self-fulfillment. But, overall, “assimilation was the price paid by the Jews for the benefit of having access to the European culture. Educated Jews convinced themselves that “the Jews are not a nation, but only a religious group.” “The Jewish nation, after it joined the realm of European nations, began to lose its national uniqueness … only the Jew from the ghetto retained pronounced national traits … while the intelligent Jew tried with all his strength to look unlike a typical Jew.” Thus spread “the theory that there is no Jewish nation, but only ‘the Poles, Frenchmen and Germans of Mosaic Law.’”
Marx, and then Lenin saw the solution of Jewish question in the full assimilation of the Jews in the countries of their residence.
In contrast to the clumsiness of those ideologues, the ideas of M.O. Gershenzon are much more interesting. He put them forward late in life, in 1920, and they are all the more interesting because the lofty thinker Gershenzon was a completely assimilated Russian Jew. Nevertheless, the Jewish question was alive and well in his mind. He explored it in his article The Destinies of the Jewish Nation.
Unlike the contemporary Jewish Encyclopedia, Gershenzon believes that Jewish assimilation is the ancient phenomenon, from time immemorial. One voice constantly “tempted him [the Jew] to blend with the environment — hence comes this ineradicable and ancient Jewish aspiration to assimilate.” Yet another voice “demanded above all things to preserve his national uniqueness. The whole story of scattering is the never-ending struggle of two wills within Jewry: the human will against the superhuman one, the individual against the collective…. The requirements of the national will towards the individual were so ruthless and almost beyond human power, that without having a great hope common to all Jewry, the Jew would succumb to despair every now and then, and would be tempted to fall away from his brethren and desert that strange and painful common cause.” Contrary to the view that it is not difficult to explain why assimilation began precisely at the end of the 18th century, Gershenzon is rather surprised: “Is it not strange that assimilation so unexpectedly accelerated exactly during the last one hundred years and it continues to intensify with each passing hour? Shouldn’t the temptation to fall apart be diminished greatly nowadays, when the Jews obtained equal rights everywhere?” No, he replies: “It is not the external force that splits the Jews; Jewry disintegrates from the inside. The main pillar of Jewry, the religious unity of the Jewish nation, is decayed and rotten.” So, what about assimilation, where does it lead to? “At first sight, it appears that … [the Jews] are imbued, to the marrow of their bones, with the cosmopolitan spirit or, at least, with the spirit of the local culture; they share beliefs and fixations of the people around them.” Yet it is not exactly like that: “They love the same things, but not in the same way…. They indeed crave to embrace the alien gods… They strive to accept the way of life of modern culture…. They pretend that they already love all that — truly love, and they are even able to convince themselves of that.” Alas! One can only love his own faith, “the one born in the throes from the depths of the soul.”
Jewish authors genuinely express the spiritual torment experienced by the assimilating Jew. “If you decided to pretend that you are not a Jew, or to change your religion, you are doomed to unending internal struggle with your Jewish identity…. You live in terrible tension…. In a way, this is immoral, a sort of spiritual self-violation.” (This inner conflict was amazingly described by Chekhov in his essay Tumbleweed.) “This evil stepmother — assimilation … forced the individual to adapt to everything: to the meaning of life and human relations, to demands and needs, to the way of life and habits. It crippled the psychology of the nation in general and … that of the national intelligentsia in particular.” It compelled people “to renounce their own identity, and, ultimately, led to self-destruction.” “It is a painful and humiliating search of identity.” But even “the most complete assimilation is ephemeral: it never becomes natural,” it does not liberate “from the need to be on guard” all the time.
In addition to the lack of trust on the part of surrounding native people, assimilating Jews come under fire from their fellow Jews; they are accused of “consumerism and conformism,” of “the desire to desert their people, to dispose of their Jewish identity,” and of “the national defection.”
Nevertheless, during the 19th century everything indicated that assimilation was feasible and necessary, that it was predetermined and even inevitable. Yet the emergence of Zionism cast a completely new light on this problem. Before Zionism, “every Jew suffered from painful duality,“ the dissonance between the religious tradition and the surrounding external world.
In the early 20th century Jabotinsky wrote: “When the Jew adopts a foreign culture … one should not trust the depth and strength of such conversion. The assimilated Jew cannot withstand a single onslaught, he abandons the ‘adopted’ culture without any resistance whatsoever, as soon as he sees that the power of that culture is over … he cannot be the pillar for such a culture.” He provided a shining example of the Germanized Austria-Hungary, when, with the growth of Czech, Hungarian and Polish cultures, Germanized Jews actively conformed to new ways of life. “It is all about certain hard realities of the natural relationship between a man and his culture, the culture created by his ancestors.” This observation is true, of course, though “hard realities” sounds somewhat dry. (Jabotinsky not only objected to assimilation fiercely, he also insistently warned the Jews to avoid Russian politics, literature and art, cautioning that after a while the Russians would inevitably turn down such service.)
Many individual and collective examples, both in Europe and Russia, in the past and nowadays, illustrate the fragility of Jewish assimilation.
Consider Benjamin Disraeli, the son of a non-religious father; he was baptized in adolescence and he did not just display the English way of life, he became no less than the symbol of the British Empire. So, what did he dream about at leisure, while riding his novel-writing hobby-horse? He wrote about exceptional merits and Messianism of the Jews, expressed his ardent love to Palestine, and dreamt of restoring the Israeli homeland!
And what’s about Gershenzon? He was a prominent historian of Russian culture and an expert on Pushkin. He was even criticized for his “Slavophilism.” But, nevertheless, at the end of his life, he wrote: “Accustomed to European culture from a tender age, I deeply imbibed its spirit … and I truly love many things in it…. But deep in my mind I live differently. For many years a secret voice from within appeals to me persistently and incessantly: This is not yours! This is not yours! A strange will inside me sorrowfully turns away from [Russian] culture, from everything happening and spoken around me…. I live like a stranger who has adapted to a foreign country; the natives love me, and I love them too; I zealously work for their benefit … yet I feel I am a stranger, and I secretly yearn for the fields of my homeland.”
After this confession of Gershenzon, it is appropriate to formulate the key thesis of this chapter. There are different types of assimilation: civil and domestic assimilation, when the assimilated individual is completely immersed in the surrounding life and accepts the interests of the native nation (in that sense, the overwhelming majority of Russian, European and American Jews would perhaps consider themselves assimilated); cultural assimilation; and, at the extreme, spiritual assimilation, which also happens, albeit rarely. The latter is more complex and does not result from the former two types of assimilation. (In the opinion of a critic, The Correspondence between Two Corners by Vyacheslav Ivanov and M.O. Gershenzon, that “small book of tremendous importance”, serves as “a proof of the inadequacy of Jewish assimilation, even in the case of apparently complete cultural assimilation.”)
Or take another individual, [M. Krol], a revolutionary in his youth and a “converted” émigré after the revolution, he marvels that the Russian Jews even in their new countries of emigration demonstrated “a huge amount of national energy” and were building an “original Jewish culture” there. Even in London the Jews had their own Yiddish schools, their own social organizations, and their own solid economics; they did not merge with the English way of life, but only accommodated to its demands and reinforced the original English Jewry. (The latter even had their own British Council of Jews, and called themselves the “Jewish community of the Great Britain” — note that all this was in England, where Jewish assimilation was considered all but complete.) He witnessed the same thing in France, and was particularly impressed by the similar “feat” in the United States.
And there is also that unfailing and reliable Jewish mutual support, that truly outstanding ability that preserves the Jewish people. Yet it further weakens the stability of assimilation.
It was not only the rise of Zionism that prompted the Jews to reject assimilation. The very course of the 20th century was not conductive to assimilation.
On the eve of World War II in 1939, a true Zionist, Max Brod, wrote: “It was possible to argue in support of the theory of assimilation in the days of far less advanced statehood of the 19th century,” but “this theory lost any meaning in the era when the peoples increasingly consolidate”; “we, the Jews, will be inevitably crushed by bellicose nationalistic peoples, unless we take our fate into our hands and retreat in time.”
Martin Buber had a very stern opinion on this in 1941: “So far, our existence had served only to shake the thrones of idols, but not to erect the throne of God. This is exactly why our existence among other nations is so mysterious. We purport to teach others about the absolute, but in reality we just say ‘no’ to other nations, or, perhaps, we are actually nothing more than just the embodiment of such negation. This is why we have turned into the nightmare of the nations.”
Then, two deep furrows, the Catastrophe and the emergence of Israel soon afterwards, crossed the course of Jewish history, shedding new and very bright light on the problem of assimilation.
Arthur Koestler clearly formulated and expressed his thoughts on the significance of the state of Israel for world Jewry in his book Promise and Fulfillment: Palestine 1917-1949 and in an article, Judah at the Crossroads.
An ardent Zionist in his youth, Koestler left Vienna for a Palestinian kibbutz in 1926; he worked for a few years in Jerusalem as a Hebrew-writing columnist for Jabotinsky’s newspaper; he also reported for several German newspapers. And then he wrote: “If we exclude from the Jewish religion the mystical craving for the Promised Land, then the very basis and essence of this religion would disappear.” And further, “after the restoration of the Jewish state, most of the Jewish prayers, rites and symbols lost their meaning…. The God of Israel has abided by the treaty; he had returned the land of Canaan to Abraham’s seed…. If, however, [the religious Jew] defies the order to return to the land of his ancestors and thus violates the treaty, he consequently … anathematizes himself and loses his Jewishness.” On the other hand, it may be difficult for not very religious Jews to understand why they should make sacrifices to preserve “Jewish values” not included in the religious doctrine. “The [Jewish] religion loses any sense if you continue to pray about the return to Zion even after you have grimly determined not to go there.” A painful choice, yes, but “the choice that must be made immediately, for the sake of the next generation…. Do I want to move to Israel? If I do not, then what right do I have to continue calling myself a Jew and thus to mark my children with the stigma of isolation? The whole world would sincerely welcome the assimilation of the Jews,” and after three generations or so, “the Jewish question would fade away.”
The London newspaper Jewish Chronicle objected to Koestler: perhaps, “it is much better, much more reasonable and proper for a Jew from the Diaspora to live as before, at the same time helping to build the State of Israel?” Yet Koestler remained adamant: “They want both to have their cake and eat it. This is the route to disaster.”
Yet all previous attempts at assimilation ended in failure; so why it should be different this time? — argued the newspaper. Koestler replied: “Because all previous attempts of assimilation were based on the wrong assumption that the Jews could be adequate sons of the host nation, while at the same time preserving their religion and remaining ‘the Chosen people.’” But “ethnic assimilation is impossible if Judaism is preserved; and conversely Judaism collapses in case of ethnic assimilation. Jewish religion perpetuates the national isolation — there is nothing you can do about this fact.” Therefore, “before the restoration of Israel, the renunciation of one’s Jewish identity was equivalent to refusal to support the persecuted and could be regarded as a cowardly surrender.” But “now, we are talking not about surrender, but about a free choice.”
Thus, Koestler offered a tough choice to the Diaspora Jews: “to become Israelis or to stop being Jews. He himself took the latter path.” (Needless to say, Jews in the Diaspora met Koestler’s conclusions mainly with angry criticism.)
Yet those who had chosen the first option, the citizens of the State of Israel, obtained a new support and, from that, a new view at this eternal problem. For instance, a modern Israeli author writes sharply: “The Galut Jew is an immoral creature. He uses all the benefits of his host country but at the same time he does not fully identify with it. These people demand the status which no other nation in the world has — to be allowed to have two homelands: the one, where they currently live, and another one, where ‘their heart lives.’ And after that they still wonder why they are hated!”
And they do wonder a lot: “Why, why are the Jews so disliked (true, the Jews are disliked, this is fact; otherwise, why strive for liberation?)? And from what? Apparently, not from our Jewishness….” “We know very well that we should liberate ourselves, it is absolutely necessary, though … we still cannot tell exactly what from.”
A natural question — what should we do to be loved — is seldom asked. Jewish authors usually see the whole world as hostile to them, and so they give way to grief: “The world is now split into those who sympathize with the Jewish people, and those seeking to destroy the Jewish people.” Sometimes, there is proud despair: “It is humiliating to rely on the authorities for the protection from the nation which dislikes you; it is humiliating to thank ingratiatingly the best and worthiest of this nation, who put in a good word for you.”
Another Israeli disagrees: “In reality, this world is not solely divided on the grounds of one’s attitude toward Jews, as we sometimes think owing to our excessive sensitivity.” A. Voronel agrees: “The Jews pay too much attention to anti-Semites, and too little — to themselves.”
Israel, the Jewish state, must become the center that secures the future of world Jewry. As early as in the 1920s no other than Albert Einstein wrote to no other than Pyotr Rutenberg, a former Social Revolutionary and possibly the main author of the revolutionary demands of January 9, 1905 (he accompanied Orthodox Father Gapon during the workers’ procession on that date but was later one of his executioners; still later, Rutenberg left Russia to rebuild Palestine): “First of all, your [Palestinian settlers’] lives must be protected, because you sacrifice yourselves for the sake of the Spirit and in the name the entire Jewish nation. We must demonstrate that we are a nation with the will to live and that we are strong enough for the great accomplishment that would consolidate our people and protect our future generations. For us and for our posterity, the State must become as precious as the Temple was for our ancestors.”
Jewish authors support this conviction in many ways: “The Jewish problem, apparently, has no reliable solution without the Jewish state.” ”Israel is the center that guarantees the future of the Jews of the whole world.” Israel is the only correct place for Jews, one where their “historical activity does not result in historical fiasco.”
And only a rumble coming from that tiny and endlessly beleaguered country betrays “the phantom of the Catastrophe, permanently imprinted in the collective unconscious of the Israelis.”
* * *
And what is the status of assimilation, the Diaspora, and Israel today?
By the 1990s, assimilation had advanced very far. For example, “for 80-90% of the American Jews, the modern tendencies of the Jewish life promise gradual assimilation.” This holds true not only for the United States: “Jewish life gradually disappears from most of the Diaspora communities.” Most modern-day Jews “do not have painful memories of the Catastrophe…. They identify with Israel much less than their parents.” Doubtlessly, “the role of the Diaspora is shrinking disastrously, and this is fraught with inevitable loss of its essential characteristics.” “Will our grandchildren remain Jews…? Will the Diaspora survive the end of this millennium and, if so, for how long? Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, one of the greatest teachers of our time … warns that the Jews of the Diaspora are no longer a group, ‘whose survival is guaranteed by being in jeopardy.’” And because of that, they, paradoxically, “are already on the road to extinction, participating in the ‘Catastrophe of self-destruction.’” Moreover, “anti-Semitism in Western countries cannot be anymore considered as the element that strengthens Jewish identity. Anti-Semitic discrimination in politics, business, universities, private clubs, etc. is for all practical purposes eliminated.” In present-day Europe “there are many Jews who do not identify as Jews and who react idiosyncratically to any attempt to connect them with that artificial community.” “The assimilated Jew does not want to feel like a Jew; he casts away the traits of his race (according to Sartre).” The same author offers a scorching assessment: “European Jews reject their Jewishness; they think it is anti-Semitism that compels them to be the Jews. Yet that is a contradiction: A Jew identifies as a Jew only when he is in danger. Then he escapes as a Jew. But when he himself becomes the source of danger, he is not a Jew.”
Thus, “the contours of the collapse of the Diaspora take shape exactly when the Western Jews enjoy freedom and wealth unprecedented in Jewish history, and when they are, or appear to be, stronger than ever.” And “if the current trends do not change, most of the Diaspora will simply disappear. We have to admit a real possibility of the humiliating, though voluntary, gradual degradation of the Diaspora…. Arthur Koestler, the advocate of assimilation, who in the 1950s predicted the death of the Diaspora, might prove to be right after all.”
Meanwhile, “the Jews of the world, sometimes even to their own surprise, feel like they are personally involved in the destiny of Israel.” “If, God forbid, Israel is destroyed, then the Jews in other countries will disappear too. I cannot explain why, but the Jews will not survive the second Catastrophe in this century.” Another author attributes the “Jewish mythology of the imminent Catastrophe” precisely to life in the Diaspora, and this is why “American (and Soviet) Jews often express such opinions.” They prepare for the Catastrophe: should Israel fall, it will be they who will carry on the Jewish nation. Thus, “almost all of many hypotheses attempting to explain the purpose of Jewish Diaspora … recognize that it makes Jewry nearly indestructible; it guarantees Jewry eternal life within the limits of the existence of mankind.”
We also encounter quite a bellicose defense of the principle of Diaspora. American professor Leonard Fayne said: “We oppose the historical demand to make aliyah. We do not feel like we are in exile.” In June 1994 “the President of the World Jewish Congress, Shoshana S. Cardin, aggressively announced to the Israelis: ‘We are not going to become the forage for aliyah to Israel, and we doubt you have any idea about the richness and harmony of American Jewish life.’” Others state: “We are interesting for the peoples of the world not because of peculiarities of our statehood, but because of our Diaspora which is widely recognized as one of the greatest wonders of world history.” Others are rather ironic: “One rogue came up with … the elegant excuse that the “choseness” of the Jews is allegedly nothing else but to be eternally scattered.” “The miracle of the restoration of Israel post factum gave new meaning to the Diaspora; simultaneously, it had brilliantly concluded the story that could otherwise drag on. In short, it had crowned the miracle of the Diaspora. It crowned it, but did not abolish it.” Yet “it is ironic too, as the goals for which we struggled so hard and which filled us with such pride and feeling of difference, are already achieved.”
Understanding the fate of the Diaspora and any successful prediction of its future largely depends on the issue of mixed marriages. Intermarriage is the most powerful and irreversible mechanism of assimilation. (It is no accident that such unions are so absolutely forbidden in the Old Testament: “They have dealt faithlessly with the Lord; for they have borne alien children.” (Hosea 5:7)) When Arnold J. Toynbee proposed intermarriage as a means to fight anti-Semitism, hundreds of rabbis opposed him: “Mass mixed marriage means the end of Jewry.”
A dramatic growth of mixed marriages is observed in the Western countries: “Data documenting the statistics of ‘dissolution’ are chilling. In the 1960s ‘mixed marriages’ accounted for approximately 6% of Jewish marriages in the United States, the home of the largest Jewish community in the world. Today [in 1990s], only one generation later, this number reached 60% — a ten-fold increase. The share of ‘mixed marriages’ in Europe and Latin America is approximately the same…. Moreover, apart from the orthodox Jews, almost all Jewish families in Western countries have an extremely low birth rate.” In addition, “only a small minority of children from ‘mixed families’ are willing to adopt a distinctly Jewish way of life.”
And what about Russia? The Shorter Jewish Encyclopedia provides the following statistics: in 1988 [still under the Soviet regime], in the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic), 73% of married Jewish men, and 63% of married Jewish women had non-Jewish spouses (in 1978 these numbers were lower: 13% for men, and 20% for women.). “Actually, Jews in such marriages tend to lose their Jewish self-consciousness much faster; they more often identify themselves with other nationalities during census.”
Thus, almost everywhere, to a greater or lesser degree, we have the “erosion of Jewish life,” “dilution of racial, religious and ethnic borders that, until recently, served as the barriers for assimilation and `intermarriage.´” Today, “when common anti-Semitism declined so abruptly, … the Jews have lost a many great principles that in past used to be strong pillars of self-identification.”
The Jews of the Diaspora are often attacked by the Israelis. Thirty and forty years after the creation of the State of Israel, the Israelis ask Diaspora Jews mockingly and sometimes angrily: “So, what about modern Jews? Most likely, they will always remain in their true historical home, in the Galuth.” “The Algerian Jews had preferred France to Israel, and then the majority of the Iranian Jews, who left Khomeini’s rule, gave a wide berth to Israel.” “By pulling up stakes, they search for countries with higher standards of living, and a higher level of civilization. The love of Zion is not sufficient in itself.” “The eternal image of a classical ‘imminent catastrophe’ does not attract the Jews to Israel anymore.” “The Jews are a nation corrupted by their stateless and ahistoric existence.” “The Jews did not pass the test. They still do not want to return to their homeland. They prefer to stay in Galut and complain about anti-Semitism every time they are criticized…. And nobody may say a bad word about Israel, because to criticize Israel is ‘anti-Semitism!’ If they are so concerned about Israel, why do they not move here to live? But no, this is exactly what they try to avoid!” “Most of the Jews of the world have already decided that they do not want to be independent…. Look at the Russian Jews. Some of them wanted independence, while others preferred to continue the life of a mite on the Russian dog. And when the Russian dog had become somewhat sick and angry, they have turned to the American dog. After all, the Jews lived that way for two thousand years.”
And now, the the Diaspora Jew “is often nervous when confronted by an Israeli; he would rather feel guilty than … share his fate with Israel. This sense of inferiority is compensated by intensely maintaining his Jewish identity … through deliberate over-emphasizing of petty Jewish symbolism.” At the same time, “the Jew from the Diaspora alone shoulders the specific risk of confronting surrounding anti-Semitism.” Yet, “no matter how the Israel behaves, the Diaspora has no choice: it will quietly stand behind the Israelis like an unloved but faithful wife.”
It was forecasted that “by 2021, the Diaspora will probably shrink by another million souls.” “The interior workings of Jewish history… indicate that, most likely, the size of world Jewry will further decrease with the gradual concentration of a Jewish majority in Zion and not in the Diaspora.”
Yet couldn’t it be the other way around? Maybe, after all, the Russian Jew Josef Bikerman was right when he confidently claimed that the Diaspora is indestructible? “I accept Galut, where we have lived for two thousand years, where we have developed strong cohesion, and where we must live henceforth, to live and prove ourselves.” Could it be that those two voices which, according to Gershenzon, always sound in Jewish ears — one calling to mix with the surroundings, and another demanding to preserve Jewish national uniqueness, — will sound forever?
A reputable historian noted (after World War II) “a paradox in the life of modern Jewry: ever-growing immersion of Jews in the life of other nations does not diminish their national identity and sometimes even intensifies it.”
Below are few testimonies made by Russian Jews during the Soviet (“internationalist”) period.
“I always had an acute perception of my Jewishness…. From the age of 17, when I left the cradle of high school, I mixed in circles where the Jewish question was central.” “My father had a very strong Jewish spirit; despite that, he never observed traditions, Mitzvoth, did not know the language, and yet … everything, that he, a Jew, knew, was somehow subordinated to his Jewish identity.”
A writer from Odessa, Arkady Lvov, remembers: “When I was a 10-year old boy, I searched for the Jews among scientists, writers, politicians, and first of all, as a Young Pioneer [a communist youth group in the former Soviet Union], I looked for them among the members of government.” Lazar Kaganovich was in third place, ahead of Voroshilov and Kalinin, “and I was proud of Stalin’s minister Kaganovich… I was proud of Sverdlov, I was proud of Uritsky… And I was proud of Trotsky — yes, yes, of Trotsky!” He thought that Ostermann (the adviser of Peter the Great) was a Jew, and when he found that Ostermann actually was German, he had “a feeling of disappointment, a feeling of loss,” but he “was openly proud that Shafirov was a Jew.”
Yet there were many Jews in Russia who were not afraid “to merge with the bulk of the assimilating body,” who devotedly espoused Russian culture:
“In the old days, only a handful of Jews experienced this: Antokolsky, Levitan, Rubinstein, and a few others. Later there were more of them. Oh, they’ve fathomed Russia so deeply with their ancient and refined intuition of heart and mind! They’ve perceived her shimmering, her enigmatic play of light and darkness, her struggles and sufferings. Russia attracted their hearts with her dramatic fight between good and evil, with her thunderstorms and weaknesses, with her strengths and charms. But several decades ago, not a mere handful, but thousands Jews entered Russian culture…. And many of them began to identify sincerely as Russians in their souls, thoughts, tastes and habits…. Yet there is still something in the Jewish soul … a sound, a dissonance, a small crack — something very small, but through it, eventually, distrust, mockery and hostility leaks from the outside, while from the inside some ancient memory works away.
So who am I? Who am I? Am I Russian?
No, no. I am a Russian Jew.”
Indeed, assimilation apparently has some insurmountable limits. That explains the difference between full spiritual assimilation and cultural assimilation, and all the more so, between the former and widespread civic and social assimilation. Jews — fatefully for Jewry — preserve their identity despite all outward signs of successful assimilation, they preserve “the inner Jewish character” (Solomon Lurie).
The wish to fully merge with the rest of mankind, in spite of all strict barriers of the Law seems natural and vivid. But is it possible? Even in the 20th century some Jews believed that “the unification of the mankind is the ideal of Judaic Messianism.” But is it really so? Did such an ideal ever exist?
Far more often, we hear vigorous objections to it: “Nobody will convince or compel me to renounce my Jewish point of view, or to sacrifice my Jewish interests for the sake of some universal idea, be it ‘proletarian internationalism,’ (the one we idiots believed in the 1920s) or ‘Great Russia,’ or ‘the triumph of Christianity,’ or ‘the benefit of all mankind,’ and so on.”
Nearly assimilated non-Zionist and non-religious Jewish intellectuals often demonstrate a totally different attitude. For instance, one highly educated woman with broad political interests, T.M.L., imparted to me in Moscow in 1967 that “it would be horrible to live in an entirely Jewish milieu. The most precious trait of our nation is cosmopolitanism. It would be horrible if all Jews would gather in one militarist state. It is totally incomprehensible for assimilated Jews.” I objected timidly: “But it cannot be a problem for the assimilated Jews as they are not Jews anymore.” She replied: “No, we still have some [Jewish] genes in us.”
Yet it is not about the fatality of origin, blood or genes, it is about which pain — Jewish pain or that of the host nation — is closer to one’s heart. “Alas, nationality is more than just knowledge of language, or an introduction to the culture, or even an attachment to the nature and way of life of the country. There is another dimension in it — that of the commonality of historic destiny, determined for each individual by his involvement in the history and destiny of his own people. While for others this involvement is predetermined by birth, for the Jew it is largely a question of personal choice, that of a hard choice.”
So far, assimilation has not been very convincing. All those who proposed various ways for universal assimilation have failed. The difficult problem of assimilation persists. And though on a global scale the process of assimilation has advanced very far, it by no means foredooms the Diaspora.
“Even Soviet life could not produce a fully assimilated Jew, the one who would be assimilated at the deepest, psychological level.” And, as a Jewish author concludes, “Wherever you look, you will find insoluble Jewish residue in the assimilated liquid.”
Yet individual cases of deep assimilation with bright life histories do occur. And we in Russia welcome them wholeheartedly.
* * *
“A Russian Jew … A Jew, a Russian…. So much blood and tears have been shed around this boundary, so much unspeakable torment with no end in sight piled up. Yet, at the same time, we have also witnessed much joy of spiritual and cultural growth…. There were and still are numerous Jews who decide to shoulder that heavy cross: to be a Russian Jew, and at the same time, a Russian. Two affections, two passions, two struggles…. Isn’t it too much for one heart? Yes, it is too much. But this is exactly where the fatal tragedy of this dual identity is. Dual identity is not really an identity. The balance here is not an innate but rather an acquired entity.” That reflection on the pre-revolutionary Russia was written in 1927 in the Paris emigration.
Some fifty years later, another Jew, who lived in Soviet Russia and later emigrated to Israel, looked back and wrote: “We, the Jews who grew up in Russia, are a weird cross — the Russian Jews…. Others say that we are Jews by nationality and Russians by culture. Yet is it possible to change your culture and nationality like a garment…? When an enormous press drives one metal into another, they cannot be separated, not even by cutting. For decades we were pressed together under a huge pressure. My national identity is expressed in my culture. My culture coalesced with my nationality. Please separate one from another. I am also curious which cells of my soul are of the Russian color and which are of the Jewish one. Yet there was not only pressure, not only a forced fusion. There was also an unexpected affinity between these intercrossing origins, at some deep spiritual layers. It was as if they supplemented each other to a new completeness: like space supplements time, the spiritual breadth supplements the spiritual depth, and the acceptance supplements the negation; and there was a mutual jealousy about `choseness´. Therefore, I do not have two souls, which quarrel with each other, weaken each other, and split me in two. I have one soul … and it is not two-faced, not divided in two, and not mixed. It is just one.”
And the response from Russia: “I believe that the contact of the Jewish and Slavic souls in Russia was not a coincidence; there was some purpose in it.”
In 1990, while finishing April 1917 and sorting out the enormous amount of material not included in The Red Wheel, I decided to present some of that material in the form of a historical essay about Jews in the Russian revolution.
Yet it became clear almost immediately that in order to understand those events the essay must step back in time. Thus, it stepped back to the very first incorporation of the Jews into the Russian Empire in 1772. On the other hand, the revolution of 1917 provided a powerful impetus to Russian Jewry, so the essay naturally stretched into the post-revolutionary period. Thus, the title Two Hundred Years Together was born.
However, it took time for me to realize the importance of that distinct historical boundary drawn by mass emigration of the Jews from the Soviet Union that had begun in the 1970s (exactly 200 years after the Jews appeared in Russia) and which had become unrestricted by 1987. This boundary had been abolished, so that for the first time, the non-voluntary status of the Russian Jews no longer a fact: they ought not to live here anymore; Israel waits for them; all countries of the world are open to them. This clear boundary changed my intention to keep the narrative up to the mid-1990s, because the message of the book was already played out: the uniqueness of Russian-Jewish entwinement disappeared at the moment of the new Exodus.
Now, a totally new period in the history of the by-now-free Russian Jewry and its relations with the new Russia began. This period started with swift and essential changes, but it is still too early to predict its long-term outcomes and judge whether its peculiar Russian-Jewish character will persevere or it will be supplanted with the universal laws of the Jewish Diaspora. To follow the evolution of this new development is beyond the lifespan of this author.
 I.M. Bikerman. K samopoznaniyu evreya: Chem my byli, chem my stali, chem my dolzhny byt [To the Self-Knowledge of a Jew: What We Were, What We Became, What We Must Be]. Paris, 1939, p. 17.
 S.Ya. Lurye. Antisemitizm v drevnem mire [Anti-Semitism in the Ancient World]. Tel-Aviv: Sova, 1976, p. 160 [1st ed. – Petrograd: Byloye, 1922].
 Ibid.*, p. 64, 122, 159.
 S.Ya. Lurye. Antisemitizm v drevnem mire* [Anti-Semitism in the Ancient World], p. 160.
 M. Gershenzon. Sudby evreyskogo naroda [The Destinies of the Jewish Nation] // “22”: Obshchestvenno-politicheskiy i literaturniy zhurnal evreyskoy intelligentsii iz SSSR v Izraile [Social, Political and Literary Journal of the Jewish Intelligentsia from the USSR in Israel]. Tel-Aviv, 1981, (19), p. 109-110.
 S. Tsiryulnikov. Filosofiya evreyskoy anomalii [Philosophy of the Jewish Anomaly] // Vremya i my (daleye – VM): Mezhdunarodny zhurnal literatury i obshchestvennykh problem [Epoch and We (hereinafter – EW): International Journal of Literature and Social Problems]. New York, 1984, (77), p. 148.
 A.-B. Yoshua. Golos pisatelya [Voice of the Writer] // “22”, 1982, (27), p. 158.
 Max Brod. Lyubov na rasstoyanii [Love at the Distance] // TW, Tel-Aviv, 1976, (11), p. 197-198.
 Amos Oz. O vremeni i o sebe [On Time and on Me] // Kontinent: Literaturny, obshchestvenno-politicheskiy i religiozny zhurnal [Continent: Literary, Social, Political and Religious Journal]. Moscow, 1991, (66), p. 260.
 A.-B. Yoshua. Golos pisatelya [Voice of the Writer] // “22”, 1982, (27), p. 159.
 S. Tsiryulnikov. Filosofiya evreyskoy anomalii [Philosophy of the Jewish Anomaly] // EW, New York, 1984, (77), p. 149-150.
 P. Samorodnitskiy. Stranny narodets [Strange Little Nation] // “22”, 1980, (15), p. 153, 154.
 E. Fishteyn. Iz galuta s lyubovyu [From the Galut with Love] // “22”, 1985, (40), p. 112-114.
 M. Shamir. Sto let voyny [One Hundred Years of War] // “22”, 1982, (27), p. 167.
 Evreyskaya Entsiklopediya (daleye – EE) [The Jewish Encyclopedia (hereinafter – TJE)]: 16 volumes. Sankt-Petersburg.: Obshchestvo dlya Nauchnykh Evreyskikh Izdaniy i Izd-vo Brokgauz-Efron [St. Petersburg: Society for Scientific Jewish Publications and Publisher Brokgauz-Efron], 1906-1913. V. 3, p. 312.
 Ibid., p. 313.
 M. Krol. Natsionalizm i assimilyatsiya v evreyskoy istorii [Nationalism and Assimilation in the Jewish History] // Evreyskiy mir: Ezhegodnik na 1939 g. (daleye – EM-1) [The Jewish World: Yearbook for 1939 (hereinafter – JW-1)]. Paris: Obyedineniye russko-evreyskoy intelligentsii [Association of Russian-Jewish Intelligentsia], p. 187.
 I.L. Klauzner. Literatura na ivrite v Rossii [Literature in Hebrew in Russia] // Kniga o russkom evreystve: Ot 1860-kh godov do Revolyutsii 1917 g. [Book on the Russian Jewry: From the 1860s until the 1917 Revolution]. New York: Soyuz Russkikh Evreyev [The Union of Russian Jews], 1960, p. 506.
  M. Gershenzon. Sudby evreyskogo naroda [The Destinies of the Jewish Nation] // “22”, 1981, (19), p. 111-115.
 N. Podgorets. Evreyi v sovremennom mire [The Jews in the Modern World]: [Interview] // EM, New York, 1985, (86), p. 117.
 V. Levitina. Stoilo li szhigat’ svoy khram…. [Should We Really Burn Our Temple….] // “22”, 1984, (34), p. 194.
 Boguslavskiy. Zametki na polyakh [Marginal Notes] // “22”, 1984, (35), p. 125.
 O. Rapoport. Simptomy odnoy bolezni [Symptoms of One Disease] // “22”, 1978, (1), p. 122.
 L. Tsigel’man-Dymerskaya. Sovetskiy antisemitizm – prichiny i prognozy [Soviet Anti-Semitism – Causes and Forecasts]: [Seminar] // “22”, 1978, (3), p. 173-174.
 G. Shaked. Trudno li sokhranit’ izrail’skuyu kul’turu v konfrontatsii s drugimi kul’turami [Is It Difficult to Preserve Jewish Culture in Confrontation with Other Cultures] // “22”, 1982, (23), p. 135.
 Vl. Jabotinsky. Na lozhnom puti [On a False Road] // Vl. Jabotinsky. Felyetony [Feuilletons]. Sankt-Petersburg: Tipografiya “Gerold” [St. Petersburg: Gerold Printing Establishment], 1913, p. 251, 260-263.
 Vl. Jabotinsky. Chetyre statyi o “chirikovskom intsidente” [Four Articles on the “Chirikov Incident”] (1909) // Ibid., p. 76.
 TJE, V. 4, p. 560, 566-568.
 Vyacheslav Ivanov, M.O. Gershenzon. Perepiska iz dvukh uglov [The Correspondence Between The Two Corners]. Petrograd: Alkonost, 1921, p. 60, 61.
 O. Rapoport. Simptomy odnoy bolezni [The Symptoms of One Disease] // “22”, 1978, (1), p. 123.
 M. Krol. Natsionalizm i assimilyatsiya v evreyskoy istorii [Nationalism and Assimilation in the Jewish History] // JW-1, p. 191-193.
 Max Brod. Lyubov’ na rasstoyanii [Love at a Distance] // EW, Tel-Aviv, 1976, (11), p. 198-199.
 Martin Buber. Natsionalnye bogi i Bog Izrailya [The National Gods and the God of Israel] // EW, Tel-Aviv, 1976, (4), p. 117.
 Artur Koestler. Iuda na pereputye [Judah at the Crossroads] // EW, Tel-Aviv, 1978, (33), p. 104-107, 110.
 Ibid., p. 112.
 Ibid., p. 117, 126.
 V. Boguslavskiy. Galutu – s nadezhdoy [To the Galuth with Hope] // “22”, 1985, (40), p. 135.
 A.-B. Yoshua. Golos pisatelya [Voice of the Writer] // “22”, 1982, (27), p. 159.
 Yu. Viner. Khochetsya osvoboditsya [I Want to Become Free] // “22”, 1983, (32), p. 204-205.
 M. Goldshteyn. Mysli vslukh [Thoughts Aloud] // Russkaya mysl [Russian Thinker], 1968, February 29, p. 5.
 M. Kaganskaya. Nashe gostepriimstvo… [Our Hospitality…] // “22”, 1990, (70), p. 111.
 A. Voronel’. Oglyanis’ v razdumye… [Look Back in Reflection]: [Round Table] // “22”, 1982, (24), p. 131.
 A. Chernyak. Neizvestnoye pismo Einshteyna [The Unknown Letter of Einstein] // “22”, 1994, (92), p. 212.
 A. Katsenelenboygen. Antisemitizm i evreyskoye gosudarstvo [Anti-Semitism and the Jewish State] // “22”, 1989, (64), p. 180.
 I. Libler. Izrail — diaspora: Krizis identifikatsii [Israel — the Diaspora: The Crisis of Identification] // “22”, 1995, (95), p. 168.
 N. Gutina. Dvusmyslennaya svyaz [An Ambiguous Connection] // “22”, 1981, (19), p. 124.
 M. Kaganskaya. Mif protiv realnosti [Myth Against Reality] // “22”, 1988, (58), p. 141.
 I. Libler. Izrail — diaspora… [Israel — the Diaspora…] // “22”, 1995, (95), p. 149-150, 154, 157.
 Sonja Margolina. Das Ende der Lügen: Rußland und die Juden im 20. Jahrhundert. Berlin: Siedler Verlag, 1992, S. 95, 99.
 S. Margolina. Germaniya i evrei: vtoraya popytka [Germany and the Jews: The Second Attempt] // Strana i mir [The Country and the World], 1991, (3), p. 143.
 I. Libler. Izrail — diaspora… [Israel – the Diaspora…] // “22”, 1995, (95), p. 150, 155.
 N. Podgorets. Evreyi v sovremennom mire [The Jews in the Modern World]: [Interview] // EW, New York, 1985, (86), p. 113, 120
 Z. Bar-Sella. Islamskiy fundamentalizm i evreyskoye gosudarstvo [Islamic Fundamentalism and the Jewish State] // “22”, 1988, (58), p. 182-184.
 E. Fishteyn. Iz galuta s lyubovyu [From the Galuth with Love] // “22”, 1985, (40), p. 112.
 I. Libler. Izrail – diaspora… [Israel — the Diaspora…] // “22”, 1995, (95), p. 152.
 E. Fishteyn. Glyadim nazad my bez boyazni… [We Are Looking Back with No Fear] // “22”, 1984, No. 39, p. 135.
 A. Voronel. Oglyanis’ v razdumye… [Look Back in Reflection]: [Round Table] // “22”, 1982, (24), p. 118.
 E. Fishteyn. Iz galuta s lyubovyu [From the Galuth with Love] // “22”, 1985, (40), p. 114.
 I. Libler. Izrail — diaspora… [Israel –the Diaspora…] // “22”, 1995, (95), p. 156.
 Ed Norden. Pereschityvaya evreyev* [Recounting the Jews] // “22”, 1991, (79), p. 126.
 I. Libler. Izrail — diaspora… [Israel — the Diaspora…] // “22”, 1995, (95), p. 151, 152.
 Kratkaya Evreyskaya Entsiklopediya [The Shorter Jewish Encyclopedia]: Jerusalem: Obshchestvo po issledovaniyu evreyskikh obshchin [Society for Study of Jewish Communities], 1996, V. 8, p. 303, Table 15.
 I. Libler. Izrail — diaspora… [Israel — the Diaspora…] // “22”, 1995, (95), p. 156.
 N. Gutina. Dvusmyslennaya svyaz [An Ambiguous Connection] // “22”, 1981, (19), p. 125.
 S. Tsiryulnikov. Filosofiya evreyskoy anomalii [Philosophy of Jewish Anomaly] // EW, New York, 1984, (77), p. 148.
 I. Libler. Izrail — diaspora… [Israel — the Diaspora…] // “22”, 1995, (95), p. 165.
 Z. Bar-Sella. Islamskiy fundamentalizm i evreyskoye gosudarstvo [Islamic Fundamentalism and the Jewish State] // “22”, 1988, (58), p. 184.
 A.-B. Yoshua. Golos pisatelya [Voice of the Writer] // “22”, 1982, (27), p. 158.
 Beni Peled. Soglasheniye ne s tem partnyorom [Agreement with the Wrong Partner] // “22”, 1983, (30), p. 125.
 E. Fishteyn. Iz galuta s lyubovyu [From the Galuth with Love] // “22”, 1985, (40), p. 115, 116.
 Ed Norden. Pereschityvaya evreyev [Recounting the Jews] // “22”, 1991, (79), p. 120, 130-131.
 I.M. Bikerman. K samopoznaniyu evreya [To the Self-Knowledge of a Jew]. Ibid., p. 62.
 Sh. Ettinger. Noveyshiy period [Modern Period] // Istoriya evreyskogo naroda [History of the Jewish Nation] / Sh. Ettinger (Ed.). Jerusalem: Gesharim; Moscow: Mosty kultury [Bridges of Culture], 2001, p. 587.
 A. Eterman. Tretye pokoleniye [The Third Generation] [Interview] // “22”, 1986, (47), p. 123-124.
 A. Lvov. Vedi za soboy otsa svoyego [Lead the Way to Your Father] // EW, New York, 1980, (52), p. 183-184.
 Vl. Jabotinsky. Na lozhnom puti [On the Wrong Road] // Vl. Jabotinsky. Felyetony [Feuilletons]. Ibid., p. 251.
 Rani Aren. V russkom galute [In the Russian Galuth] // “22”, 1981, (19), p. 135-136.
 G.B. Sliozberg. Dela minuvshikh dney: Zapiski russkogo evreya [The Things of Days Bygone: The Memoirs of a Russian Jew]: 3 volumes. Paris, 1933-1934, V. 1, p. 4.
 Sh. Markish. Eshchyo raz o nenavisti k samomu sebe [Once Again on the Hate to Yourself] // “22”, 1980, (16), p. 189.
 L. Tsigelman-Dymerskaya. Sovetskiy antisemitizm — prichiny i prognozy [Soviet Anti-Semitism — Causes and Forecasts]: [Seminar] // “22”, 1978, (3), p. 175.
 Yu. Shtern. Dvoynaya otvetstvennost [Double Responsibility] // “22”, 1981, (21), p. 127.
 O. Rapoport. Simptomy odnoy bolezni [Symptoms of One Disease] // “22”, 1978, (1), p. 123.
 St. Ivanovich. Semyon Yushkevich i evreyi [Semyon Yushkevich and the Jews] / Publikatsiya Ed. Kapitaykina [Publication of Ed. Kapitaykin] // Evrei v kul’ture Russkogo Zarubezhya [The Jews in the Russian-Language Culture]. Jerusalem, 1992, V. 1, p. 29.
 [R. Nudelman] Kolonka redaktora [Editor’s Column] // “22”, 1979, (7), p. 95-96.
 L-skiy. Pisma iz Rossii [Letters from Russia] // “22”, 1981, (21), p. 150.