Text Study & Censorship

Both internal and external books have been banned from Judaism throughout history.

Print this page Print this page

It is consequently quite incorrect for Jewish apologists to maintain that Judaism knows nothing of the censorship or burning of books. However, apologists are probably correct when they point to the fact that Jews, compared with the adherents of Christianity and Islam, have been rather less tempted to condemn works compiled by other Jews.

Especially after the burning of books by the Nazis, most Jews have acquired a horror at the notion of burning books; cold comfort perhaps, but a measure of comfort nevertheless. Certainly most modern Jews have been influenced by the idea of religious tolerance that has emerged in Western society through the writings of Milton, Spinoza, John Locke, John Stuart Mill, and other thinkers in the liberal mode.

Did you like this article?  MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

Rabbi Louis Jacobs

Rabbi Dr. Louis Jacobs (1920-2006) was a Masorti rabbi, the first leader of Masorti Judaism (also known as Conservative Judaism) in the United Kingdom, and a leading writer and thinker on Judaism.