The Jewish Enlightenment

Unparalleled in scale and comprehensiveness, The Jewish Enlightenment reconstructs the intellectual and social revolution of the Haskalah as it gradually gathered momentum throughout the eighteenth century.

The Jewish Enlightenment

Shmuel Feiner. Chaya Naor, Translator

2003 | 456 pages | Cloth $65.00 | Paper $26.50
History | Religion
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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: The Jews and the Enlightenment

PART I. A PASSION FOR KNOWLEDGE
1. Intellectual Inferiority: The Affront
—The Restoration of Jewish Honor
—"Precursors of the Haskalah" or "Early Maskilim"?
2. The Early Haskalah and the Redemption of Knowledge
—The Erotic Seductiveness of Knowledge
—The Redeemers of the Neglected Sciences
—Confronting Skepticism: The Noble Savage
—Shaping Rational Thinking
3. The Secular Author in the Public Arena
—On the Verge of Separation from the Rabbinical Elite
—Patrons and the First Circles
—Three Avenues of Development

PART II. JEWISH KULTURKAMPF
4. The Wessely Affair: Threats and Anxieties
—Orthodox Counterreaction
—The Subversive Intellectual
5. Projects of Enlightenment and Tests of Tolerance
—The Jewish Free School
—Religious Tolerance
Dohm: On the Civil Improvement of the Jews
—Mendelssohn's Bi'ur of the Pentateuch
—The Posner Affair
6. The Rabbinical Elite on the Defensive
—"To Publicize the Wickedness of the Evil Man, Herz Wessely"
—An Ultimatum from the Seven Berliners
—Rabbi Levin Flees Berlin
7. On Religious Power and Judaism
—Saul Levin's Ktav Yosher
—Mendelssohn's Jerusalem
—Rabbinical Reactions
—Wessely and the Italian Rabbis

PART III. THE MASKILIC REPUBLIC
8. The Society of Friends of the Hebrew Language
—Establishing a New Public Sphere
—A Maskilic Association in Königsburg
9. The Maskilim: A Group Portrait
—In Mendelssohn's Salon
—Circles and Boundaries in Maskilic Society
—Two Groups of Maskilim
10. Euchel Establishes the Haskalah Movement
—The Genesis of a Maskil
—The Haskalah Project's First Initiatives
—Hame'asef, 1785-1786
11. The Society for the Promotion of Goodness and Justice
—The Freischule Printing House
—The Haskalah Is Institutionalized
—Intensive Acculturation in Berlin
12. Growth and Radicalization
—The Haskalah Library Expands
—The Kulturkampf Escalates
—An Attack on Rabbi Raphael Kohen
—The Search for the Ideal Jewish Society

PART IV. ON TWO FRONTS
13. Crisis at the Turn of the Century
—Voices of Despair and Protest
—Decline in the 1790s
—Jewish-German Intelligentsia
—Friedländer and the Letter to Teller
14. Tensions and Polemics in the Shadow of Crisis
—Satanow and the Haskalah Library in the 1790s
—Hame'asef, 1794-1797
—The Early Burial Controversy
—The Besamim Rosh Affair
15. On Frivolity and Hypocrisy
—The Enemies of Enlightenment
—Internal Rifts
—Rabbi Josephche and Jettchen in the Brothel

Afterword: Haskalah and Secularization
The Haskalah as a Revolutionary Event
Secular Revolution
Notes
Index