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Extra resources for From Text to Context: The Turn to History in Modern Judaism
The Israelite in the Kingdom of Prussia has been given a new relationship (Beziehung). He is no longer merely a member of a religion; he has also become a member of the State, and he must be equipped with all the skills which his expanded role (Beruf) requires. 40 Accordingly, Weyl recommended that in the seminary's preparatory class, which would extend over four years, students should devote twenty hours a week to religious subjects and eighteen hours to a program of secular studies to include German, French, Latin, geography, history, science, and mathematics.
By 1838 the Berlin board was ready to invite him to fill its top rabbinic post which had been held vacant since the death of Weyl in 1826. But Frankel was not prepared to consider leaving Dresden till the autumn of 1841. In the negotiations which followed Frankel drove a hard bargain. He insisted on being recognized as the highest religious authority in the community, on receiving a life contract and a salary of 2,500 Thalers plus a parsonage to obviate any need for outside income, and on gaining official government endorsement.
90 Not assured of victory in advance, Frankel backed off to await more favorable conditions to advance his cause. The second noteworthy assertion of rabbinic preeminence of the decade came with the well-known rabbinical conferences. On the one hand, they were a symptom of growing professional consciousness. Ludwig Philippson urged his young, cultured colleagues to view themselves as religious professionals. Like other emerging professionalsdoctors, apothecaries, scientists, lawyers, philologians, Protestant pastors, farmers, and industrialiststhe rabbis should convene annually to enhance their work.