"******but we also have to ask when were Jews NOT also shaped by the cultures which surrounded them? there is/was a give and take as there always is when different cultures mingle******
Ok, if you can answer for me from which European culture jews absorbed their chosenist, divinely sanctioned mentality to place them above others who were considered goyim/gentiles/SUB-HUMAN?"
* true - if we went to the root(or is it a branch??) - the chosenist mentality has its base in the old testament, a product of judaic philosophy - i would like to take it further though and ask is judaic philosophy ALSO a product of something else - is it part of a larger subset of thought that could ALSO explain Persian expansionism, the exploits of Alexander the Great, etc?
anyway - it could be that christianity while creating a cohesive bond around europeans, as you have pointed out - also necessitated the need for castigating the "other." in this way - did jews become victims of their own mindset when it was adopted by the roman empire - the adoption within christianity of christians being chosen? the church upped the ante and solidified their(christian) chosenism by making the historical record say jews were "christ killers." i would say though that we do not know what the historical outcome would be if the roman empire which already had a trajectory of conquest had not adopted a bastardized judaic concept which was partly written by rome called christianity - this was an amalgam, not necessarily a function of ONE philosophy - it was a dovetailing of two. there is ALSO the issue of the khazars(a russian steppes people) adopting Judaism for its own purposes - ones who many theorize WERE the bulk of people who made up (white) european jews. we know historically how marauding these people were (the huns) and associates. there also were dark skinned and light skinned khazars too (although the historical record shows the whiter ones were in charge). there are many substrates of thoughts, routes of confluence and influence that have created history. we can point out general tendencies, i just get leary of placing the blame on one group of people. i tend to think that when cultures/people interact that new forms are born from these interactions - these amalgams then go on and while having influences from the parts do take on new characteristics.
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