Page 168 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 39

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
in America and the shattering events of the Holocaust were also
fresh at hand. Hence, there was a pressing need for a work of this
kind, as its success in fact testifies.
SCHOLARLY STUDIES
And still, Grayzel remained at his core the scholar. The period
toward the end of his tenure at JPS and then the years spent as
professor of Jewish history at Dropsie University, from 1966
(when he was already seventy) until only a year or so ago, witnes­
sed a remarkable series of articles expanding on the themes he
had first proposed in
The Church and the Jews
in 1933. Thus, in
1962, his article on the bull
Sicut Judaeis
attempted to show that
the popes maintained a firm position throughout the Middle
Ages and into the Renaissance on the question of Jewish protec­
tion. This article was balanced in 1968
(JQR)
by a study o f Roman
Law. Here Grayzel argued that while Roman Law complemented
papal protection, it also possessed strongly ambivalent features,
so that, at best, the protection it offered was limited and counter­
poised by the harsh limits it placed on Jewish civic freedoms.
A few years before, in 1964 (Solomon Freehof Festschrift),
Grayzel produced an important review of the specific issue of
papal involvement in the burnings of the Talmud. Apart from a
thorough examination of earlier literature on the subject, he
carefully noted the active role played by such groups as the
Franciscans and, especially, the Dominicans in anti-Talmud pro­
cedures, thus showing that the question of the Talmud was one
which absorbed various groups within the Church and was not
simply a papal operation. At this time, Grayzel also wrote an
interesting study of the twenty-one Ecumenical Councils, from
the earliest days of the Church through Vatican II in 1965, and
their attitudes toward the Jews.
Despite all this, Grayzel was not yet fully satisfied with his
conclusions. And thus in 1975 (Baron Festschrift) he published
an article on the Jewry legislation of Alexander III , the first pope
since Gregory the Great in the late sixth century to produce a
quantity of materials on the Jews. Reigning just prior to the
period of Innocent II I , Alexander II I tried to draw together the
strands of earlier papal and conciliar legislation to produce a
harmonious structure of protection and limitation for the Jews.