many of this story’s questionable aspects, I will raise only one question: who was this terrible child, this Ben ha-Niddah , who walked, in front of three respected sages, with his head uncovered?
Ben ha-Niddah and Jesus
The above-mentioned paragraph from Massekhet Kallah is extensively quoted nowadays in anti-Jewish websites, as a proof of Jewish attacks against Christianity, and as an example of the immoral behavior of Talmudic rabbis. A simple search of the words “akiba kallah oath” will show dozens of such sites. The second claim is out of the scope
revelation too, in the common consciousness of a religious community which, as long as it remains that group’s living common possession, deserves as much recognition as the unmediated divine one.” Zacharias Frankel, “Anzeige und Prospectus”, Zeitschrift für die religiösen Interessen des Judentums , Vol. 2 (1845), p. 15. Therefore, in Frankel’s view, no religious reformer had a right, for reasons of rationality, to alter norms the people themselves had not cast aside. However, Frankel claimed that the oral law can still be subject to reinterpretations (but not to
an Abraham Geiger and the Conservative path of a Zacharias Frankel. Following a brief treatment of Joël’s accomplishments in other areas, this study will dwell on Joël, the rabbi seeking a middle path, not between Orthodoxy and Reform but between what he called the Conservativen and the Fortgeschrittenen . M. Joël, Israelitisches Gebetbuch für die öffentliche Andacht des ganzen Jahres 1 (Breslau, 1872), Vorwort, vii.
Joël did not claim to be a philosopher, but rather a “student of philosophy.” Jacob Freudenthal, “Ueber die wissenschaftliche Thätigkeit Dr. M
Rabbi Judah bar Shalom said: When God said to Moses: ‘Write down’, Moses requested that the Mishnah be transmitted in writing, too. But God foresaw that, in the future, the nations of the world would translate the Torah in order to read it in Greek and would claim, “We are Israel.” So far the scales are balanced [i.e., there is no way of deciding definitively if the Jewish people are Israel or the foreign nations making the claim are Israel]. God says to the idolatrous nations: “You claim to be my children. I only recognize as my children those who
pages of two subsequent issues. In the brief articles commenting on the images, the journal hides its views by quoting the judgments of other authors, still the selection of quotes shows that Frankel is its hero, not Hirsch.
From today’s perspective on the nineteenth-century Jewish press, Carmel must appear as a very obscure publication: it survives worldwide in one single copy owned by the Austrian National Library in Vienna. In its time, however, Carmel claimed to be the organ of the centrist mainstream of Hungarian Jewry. The rationale behind its impartiality
) The Zionist Idea. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society.
Herzl, T. (1896) The Jewish State. Online at: http://www.MidEastweb.org
Hess, J.M. (2002) Germans, Jews and the claims of modernity. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Hirsch, D, (2009) Zionist eugenics, mixed marriage, and the creation of a ‘new Jewish type. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 15(3):592-609.
Horkheimer, M. and T. Adorno (2002) Dialectic of Enlightenment. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press
Graetz, Geschichte der Juden , 11 vols., here: vol. 6, (Leipzig: Leiner, 1861), 150. Graetz account of the Kuzari’s theology, in the sixth volume of his Geschichte der Juden from 1861, was consciously biased towards Halevi. What is more, Graetz claims that Halevi, with his “true opinion about the worth of the speculative knowledge of dogmatic metaphysics,” not only stood alone in his own time but was even ahead of his time by several centuries. Graetz, Geschichte der Juden , vol. 6, 150. This fully agrees with the main points of Graetz’ later direct criticism of
as well. Dohm, Ueber die bürgerliche Verbesserung der Juden 1:143-144. Civic improvement was predicated on and promoted through Jews’ religious, cultural, and social transformation. Johann Michaelis, the eminent German scholar of Judaism, challenged Dohm and argued that Jews would never integrate themselves into German society because their hopes would continue to be directed at their return to Palestine. Jews could hardly be convinced otherwise, claimed Michaelis, because their rabbinic authorities understood it this way, as did Isaac Newton and John Locke
the Plague eventually subsided, the survivors inherited the victims’ wealth, thus capitalizing the Renaissance that in turn helped them process their grief. Here, in order to claim the aptness of this renaissance narrative, Kahn was forced to deny what was irreducibly new in thermonuclear war—the inevitability See, for example, Toon, Robock, Turco, Environmental Consequences of Nuclear War , Physics Today, (2008). of global climate disaster, or as it was called then, radioactive fallout. But the public remained largely unconvinced by these denials, and intuitively
institutes: scientific reason versus common sense
In 1904, a year celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the Breslau Seminary, a deeply felt recollection written by Hermann Cohen, who had entered it in 1857, appeared in a German-Jewish journal. Cfr. Hermann Cohen, Ein Gruβ der Pietät an das Breslauer Seminar , “Ost und West”, 1904, pp. 747-756; repr. In Hermann Cohen, Jüdische Schriften , vol. 2, Berlin: Schwetschke 1924, pp. 418-424. This is how the philosopher described the spirit that animated the school and its teachers, and to which he claimed