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By Robert (editor) Chazan

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Additional resources for AJS REVIEW The Journal of the Association for Jewish Studies Vol. IX, No. 1 Spring 1984

Sample text

6 The list suggests that Jews persistently attempted - albeit with varying degrees of success - to divide communal governance in a way which might preserve and foster the federal requirements of their political heritage. II It would not be difficult to adduce further examples of constitutional power-sharing in Jewish public life. The exercise would undoubtedly be instructive, since each instance possesses instrinsic historical interest. But for present purposes such repetition would probably be superfluous.

J. Elazar and S. A. Cohen, A Gazetteer of Jewish Political Organization, experimental ed. (Jerusalem: Center for Jewish Community Studies, 1981). A surveyof the long historyof Jewishpoliticalconduct, as well as a reviewof the commentspassedon the Jewishpoliticaltradition by some of its most representativeexponentsandcommentators,revealsthis to be a cardinalconstitutionalaxiom. In principle,the concentrationof poweris to be avoided and denigrated;its diffusionamong various legitimate(or legitimated) domains of governmentis to be encouragedand praised.

12 11. A vot de Rabbi Natan, loc. cit. For an early comparison of the "priestly" and "royal" covenants, see Ecclesiasticus 45:24-25. 12. As is the case in all political systems, the issue of legitimate succession poses problems of a particularly thorny nature. These are too intricate to be detailed here. Briefly stated, the Jewish political tradition requires that prospective candidates for appointment to governmental office (minui) fulfill at least two of the following three criteria: appropriate heredity (yibhus); popular approval and/or recognition (haskamah); and the enactment of a constitutionally recognized ceremony of induction into office (meshibiah- "anointment"; or semikhah "ordination").

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