The Invention of the Jewish Nose

In the New York Review of Books (ahem), Sara Lipton (ahem) has an entire piece on — I’m serious here — “The Invention of the Jewish Nose“. Of medieval, Christian, artistic depictions of Jews:

All too often, the power of the images—the vividly “real,” fleshy difference of the caricatured Jew’s face—overwhelmed their subtle spiritual message. Christian attitudes toward self, faith, and God changed less noticeably toward the end of the Middle Ages than did Christian attitudes toward Jews. Four centuries of seeing pointy-hatted, big-nosed, bearded Jews in art had conditioned Christians to regard Jews as different and socially distant.

Ahh… It’s those paintings that caused Christians to see Jews as different and socially distant, not the long tradition of self-imposed Jewish separatism practiced everywhere they went.

And the Jewish nose, you see, is a caricature, an ‘invention’ no less, with no basis in reality.

Bernie Madoff, Adam Samberg, and Mark Zuckerberg (three names picked at random) concur:


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