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May 29, 2005


Ben G.

an interesting meditation on the life of "whiteness" in the Jewish and general population... would be interesting to tease it out in some direction or another—also remembering that Jews were not "white" until mid 20th century in the US...

now what I want to know is silver, and all the value associated with it and it's close relative, keseph, actually a special sort of shiny whiteness?

btw, Kaspit, one bit of feedback: you might want to consider configuring your posts to appear in reverse chronological order. Assuming you develop a readership—as I suspect you will—folks like to load up the page and find the most recent thing you've done at the top.

"also remembering that Jews were not "white" until mid 20th century in the US.."

David was fair and blue eyed...

it seems pretty clear that lightskinned were favored. eg there are references to rabbis with unusually white skin, the women who came up from babylon with tanned skin were considered less beautiful etc.


The comment that Jews weren't "white" until mid-20th century in America is silly. The point is that the ruling elite, until that time, was not only white, but specifically Protestant and of Anglo Saxon background. It is these last 2 characteristics that were the real classifiers, not the white part. Nonwhites were not very numerous (10%) at midcentury, and were certainly not, by virtue of education, wealth or accomplishment, in any position to become part of the elite. The Jews were kept out of this elite to some extent, not because they weren't white enough but because of cultural prejudices and fears. Culture is the issue, then, not skin color or "whiteness".

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