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Jacob's ShipwreckDiaspora, Translation, and Jewish-Christian Relations in Medieval England$
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Ruth Nisse

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501703072

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501703072.001.0001

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(p.148) Conclusion
Jacob's Shipwreck

Ruth Nisse

Cornell University Press

This book concludes with a discussion of two figures, one Christian and one Jewish, each a master storyteller of fictions of Diaspora. The first is “John Mandeville, knight,” who recalls his journey to everywhere in the mid-fourteenth-century French text Mandeville's Travels. In his account, Mandeville claims that Hebrew is no longer the language of the Old Testament but rather of the Jews' current-day conspiracies against Christians. The other voice is provided by Eleazer ben Asher ha-Levi, whose Book of Memory deals with inheritance in a diasporic inversion that encompasses the loss of Jerusalem. This conclusion also considers The Testament of Naphtali, a text that distills the themes of Diaspora in the Book of Memory and resists some of the redemptive possibilities for the ten Jewish tribes offered by rabbinic midrash.

Keywords:   Diaspora, John Mandeville, Mandeville's Travels, Hebrew, Jews, Christians, Eleazer ben Asher ha-Levi, Book of Memory, Jerusalem, The Testament of Naphtali

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