"When the persecuted Jewish people went into exile, they had to change their mode of living and the ways in which they sustained themselves.
Once an agricultural people, they now turned to trade and commerce.
Once free and independent, they were now subject to various lords
Once the masters of their own way of life, they now had to sway with every passing wind.
As long as they retained their independent spiritual character, their religious principles, their internal leadership, and their distinctive way of life, the Jewish people were never truly enslaved—at least not in the spiritual dimension of their existence.
The darkness and ignorance of the Middle Ages did nothing to damage, alter, or diminish the spiritual creativity and vitality of the exiled Jewish people.
The Jew of this period was persecuted, humiliated, and despised; he had to admit to being weak and helpless in many areas of his life.
Nevertheless, his exile was never really complete, for he did not see himself as being contemptible, nor did he consider himself inferior to anyone else.
As long as he kept his own essential character, his spiritual world was not merely a comfort to him.
It was truly his home, and in this dimension of his life, the exile did not exist."