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AJS REVIEW The Journal of the Association for Jewish Studies by Robert (editor) Chazan

By Robert (editor) Chazan

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Sample text

They cannot, however, be elevated to the level of comprehensive and specifically Jewish - statements of political fact or political theory, to which, indeed, they are basically alien. 34 STUART A. COHEN larly at odds with the mainstream of the Jewish political tradition, albeit for different reasons. From the Jewish point of view, Montesquieu placed the cart before the horse. His principal concern was with the examination and definition of the major functions of government - which branch was to be responsible for which actions.

In some cases, much depended on the autonomy of the putative arrangement intimated by the aggressive keter and its consequent immunity to external interference, whether divine or gentile. (If, to take a very early example, Koralhand his entire edah are swallowed up by a miraculous earthquake, then there can be no likelihood of the eved adonai being easily ousted from his anomalous position. Similarly, there was little hope for a restored 18. Of course, the construction of the Temple essentially culminated a process; it did not set a trend.

At this level, two other sets of circumstances generally proved to be particularly decisive. One was the cohesiveness of the keter which had originally sought to usurp power and to bring about a constitutional realignment. As much is again illustrated by the sequence of events during the biblical and Hasmonean monarchies. In the former case, it was the recurrence of dynastic squabbles within the Judean royal household which enabled Jehoiada, the kohen gadol, to reassert his rightful constitutional authority and play a crucial role in the coronation of Joash (as did Hilkiah the kohen gadol in the reforms of Josiah).

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