While in her book Rauschenbach does not speculate on Menasseh’s inner life, she nevertheless manages to paint a complex character. She does so by superbly analyzing the way Menasseh developed into a mediator committed to cultural transfer from Amsterdam’s Iberian Jewry to the Christian Republic of Letters with its many Christian denominations.— Studia Rosenthaliana: Journal of the History, Culture and Heritage of the Jews in the Netherlands
This is an illuminating study of an important but all-too-often overlooked early modern rabbi and his contribution to Jewish intellectual history. A superb work of scholarship and valuable and welcome addition to the literature.— Steven Nadler, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Judaism for Christians: Menasseh ben Israel(1604–1657) is a particularly good book. It offers an excellent exploration of the career and writings of one of the most fascinating figures in the Jewish world in the early modern era. It places ben Israel’s agenda and deeds within the larger picture of Jewish attempts to improve their relationships and build better channels of communications with the Christian Protestant world. Sina Rauschenbach should be commended for the breadth and depth of her writing. — Yaakov Ariel, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This erudite and accessible study brings Menasseh ben Israel vividly to life. Setting his wide-ranging writings firmly in their seventeenth-century context, Sina Rauschenbach shows how this fascinating individual functioned as a unique mediator between Jewish and Christian intellectual cultures. Known primarily in the Anglophone world for his role in the readmission of Jews to Cromwellian England, she shows how this concluding chapter in Menasseh’s life was the culmination of over two decades of activity as a trasmitter of Jewish knowledge and an advocate for Jewish interests within the European republic of letters. This book will be of great value not only to readers interested in the early modern Jewish history or in Christian Hebraism, but also as a contribution to the wider topic of cross-cultural interaction in the early modern world.— Adam Sutcliffe, King's College London
Sina Rauschenbach’s excellent, erudite study sheds extensive light on Jewish-Christian relations in the seventeenth century Dutch Republic. Nothing else in the voluminous literature about Menasseh ben Israel deals systematically with the context, content, and implications of Menasseh’s careful strategies of engagement with Christian scholars. The results of this research are important for intellectual history, religious history, the history of the Dutch Republic, and Jewish-Christian relations as well as for Jewish history.
— Matt Goldish, Samuel M. and Esther Melton Chair in History, Ohio State University
A new Menasseh emerges from Rauschenbach’s wonderful intellectual biography: a Jewish European rabbi, mediator between Jews and Christians, progenitor of Abrahamic theology, a brave but cautious boundary crosser, whose primary audience was conversos and Christians. Menasseh explored new openings for Jews and Judaism in the Republic of Letters, and, running up against their limits, withdrew, at the end of life, defeated.
— Malachi Haim Hacohen, Duke University
Judaism for Christians is a fascinating book depicting the interaction between the Amsterdam based seventeenth-century Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel and the Christian world. This is a work of erudition in which Prof Sina Rauschenbach gives a compelling account of the religious and philosophical climate of the early modern period. Through her deep understanding of the different texts and her dizzying command of various languages in which they were written (among others Latin and Spanish) she manages to provide an astonishing picture of the mediating efforts by Menasseh to approach the Christian world and extend its understanding of Judaism and the Jewish world at the time.
— Tirtsah Levie Bernfeld, Independent Scholar