By Max Gluckman

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Extra resources for Ideas and procedures in African customary law: studies presented and discussed at the Eighth International African Seminar at the Haile Sellassie I University, Addis Ababa, January 1966, Volume 8

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The communist mind cannot fathom the residual diaspora loyalties which Russian Jews are present1y manifesting in public. This refusal on the part of Russian Jews to submerge completely and to assimilate with the surrounding population is termed by the Soviets as proof of Jewish cosmopolitanism. The fact that Jews are not permitted to assimilate even when they actively desire it is not even considered by the Soviet system. Jews are now charged with the crime of lese-majeste for having the temerity to demand an association witht heir coreligionists both in the diaspora and in Israel.

In order to survive as a nation the Jews, under rabbinic aegis, learned to internalize their frustrations, passions and despairs. Thus energies that might have been focused on self-liberation were channelled into what the Jewish leadership thought was a more legitimate end, prayer and repentance for past sins. Jewish parents through the centuries taught their children to resist the impulse to strike back at the tormentor and rationalize that control through a variety of psychological defense mechanisms.

It has persisted through time as distinctively different, yet it is the history of continuous adaptation. Jewish history is unique, for no other history is so long and so complex. " Rivkind cIaims, moreover, that it is the diaspora factor that has rendered Jewish life so complex. "Without the diaspora, the history of the Jews would have been less involved, have had fewer problems, and more restricted influence. Whether the diaspora was 2 J. Marcus, Jewish Social Studies 1, 1939, p. 263. C. to the current Jewish diaspora of some thirteen million souls, Jewish history has been exposed to alI the major civiIizations: Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, European, Asiatic and Communist.

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