What does “The Chosen Few” conjure up for you? In this case, it’s a book title. The full title is The Chosen Few How Education Shaped Jewish History 70-1492.
The authors Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein are Economists. Their premise is; starting about 200 A.D. universal male literacy became a must. Most people in the world were still farmers. Farming didn’t require literacy then. In Roman Palestine, the Jews who went to school, were open not just to Talmud study, but all sorts of professions.
Jewish population dropped the authors think, for economic reasons. The Jews, who didn’t get an education converted to other religions and joined other communities.
The book can be a bit dense for the layman in places, the economists will be happy with the graphs.
There’s supposed to be a sequel taking Judaism to modern times. Take a chance on it, an interesting look from a different perspective.
- Jewish Literacy as the Road to Riches: The Chosen Path of the ‘Chosen Few’ (pbs.org)
- what is it that makes jews so exceedingly different, so wonderful? (niqnaq.wordpress.com)
- Jewish Literacy as the Road to Riches: the Chosen Path of the ‘Chosen Few’ (pbs.org)