The relationship of Jews to honor should be discussed more (it’s broached here and there by William Ian Miller, but I don’t know of a sustained discussion of the topic). Anyway, I thought I’d take note of a couple fictional episodes that deal with the issue. I’m not sure how much they shed light on Jewish themes in particular, but they do illuminate the characteristic way honor (at least on my way of looking at honor) understands respecting another person. They also show how honor is particularly good at overriding ingroup/outgroup, us/them mental frameworks, which of course play such a big role in anti-Semitism.
The first episode comes from The H.M.S. Surprise, the third novel in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series (of Master and Commander fame). Our protagonist, Stephen Maturin, is in love with the mistress of a wealthy Jewish merchant, Richard Canning, and proposes marriage to her. Canning overhears and, in a fit of jealous rage, deals Maturin a savage open-handed blow. The offense is not apologized for and Maturin, although bearing no animus toward Canning as a person, asks a Marine captain to be his second and demand satisfaction on his behalf.