Download Out of the Ghetto: The Social Background of Jewish by Jacob Katz PDF

By Jacob Katz

From either Jewish and non-Jewish viewpoints, this learn provides the constructing interrelationship among Jews and their Gentile setting from 1770 to 1870. It covers the upheaval of the French Revolution, the loosening of bonds among church and kingdom, and the information of the Enlightenment.

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Extra resources for Out of the Ghetto: The Social Background of Jewish Emancipation, 1770-1870

Example text

In addition, it was as­ sumed that this religion of reason was at the root of every histori­ cal religion. The assumption is clearly indicated by the wording of Anderson’s constitution. It expressed in unmistakable words the intention to ignore the differences of conflicting religious doc­ trines. Anderson was a Presbyterian, and other members of the lodge, adherents of other Christian denominations, apparently thought it proper that there should be, apart from the chapels and churches, a neutral place where they could meet on the basis of the religious minimum they had in common.

Thus, by a timely reaction to an acute problem, Mendelssohn proved his involvement with society. What is more, the literary composition of Phadon is an expression of Mendels­ sohn’s intellectual journey from the exclusively Jewish environ­ ment to European society. According to his own testimony in a Hebrew letter to his friend Naphtali Herz Wessely, he had origi­ nally intended to deal with the problem of the immortality of the soul in a Hebrew treatise based on a collection of Jewish sources.

Business transactions brought members of different communities into touch through corre­ spondence or personal contact. It was a typical feature of Jewish economic activity that it could rely on business connections with Jewish communities in even far-flung cities and countries. This pertains especially to the activity of the upper class, the bankers, court agents, and purveyors. The more humble businessmen, re­ tailers, and peddlers, even if they did not travel great distances or even go abroad, still visited in the neighborhood.

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