Moses Mendelssohn

Moses Mendelssohn lived between the years 1729 and
1786. He was known as the " father of Haskalah " because
of his contributions to the Haskalah movement. Mendelssohn
was a Jewish philosopher, and got much of his education
from his father, the local rabbi, David Frankel. Mendelssohn
studied the philosophy of Maimonides. He had written the "
Principally Leibnia ",as an attack on the national neglect of
native philosophers. Also published by Mendelssohn was the
" Philosophical Conversations " in 1755. Between the years
1756 and 1759, Mendelssohn became known as the "
leading spirit of the Bibiothek " and ran some risk by freely
criticizing the poems of the king of Prussia. In 1762 he won
the prize offered by the Berlin academy for an essay on the
application of mathematical proofs to metaphysics. On
October 1763, the King granted Mendelssohn the privilege
of Protected Jew (Schutz - Jude), which assured his right to
undisturbed residence in Berlin. Mendelssohn devoted his
life to the culture and emancipation of the Jews. He began by
his German translation of the pentateuch and other parts of
the bible. From this, the Jews learned the German language,
German culture, and got a desire for German nationality.
Mendelssohn put forward his plea for tolerance in Jerusalem
" Oder Uben Religios Macht und Judenthum ". Mendelssohn
was a great philosopher, and his contributions to the Jews
were and still are great. Samson Raphael Hirsch lived
between the years 1808 and 1888. He was the leader of
Orthodoxy in Germany in the nine-teenth century. Hirsch
was known as the " Jewish religious thinker ", and the "
founder of Trenniley-Othodixie " (separatist Orthodoxy). He
was the leading spirit in the establishment and of modernized
Orthodox Jewish congregation and school system. The
slogan of the growing " neo-orthodox " group was " torah
combined with wordily wisdom ". They believed in schools
that the Hebrew language, Jewish subjects, secular studies,
and the school curriculum should be taught. Prussia adopted
a law permitting Jews to secede from the general Jewish
community and establish separate religious societies. Hirsch
wrote " Nineteen Letters "," Horeb ", commentaries on the
Pentateuch, Psalms, the Hebrew prayer book, and edited
the monthly " Jeshurun ". Hirsch showed Judaism as a
community based on faith, aiming at the sanctification of life,
the spiritualization of man, and the attainment of an
awareness of G-d\'s presence on Earth. He rejected biblical
criticism, and the application of scientific methods to the
study of Judaism. Moses Mendelssohn and Samson Raphael
Hirsch were different in that Mendelssohn believed in secular
education,assimilation within your country, and learning the
language of the country ( in his case, it was Germany ) .
Hirsch, on the other hand believed that everything revolves
around your religion, and did not encourage assimilation.
Mendelssohn supported his belief by translating books from
the torah into German, to encourage the learning and use of
the language. Hirsch objected to this and believed that the
torah must be learned in the " lashon hatorah ", the language
of the torah. I agree with Mendelssohn to some degree. I
believe that a certain amount of assimilation is good, and that
learning the torah in the language of your country ( as an aid
to the language of the torah ) is helpful, and may encourage
more learning. I also think that too much assimilation can be
harmful. I think that intermarriage is bad and that just
weakens the Jews. MOSES MENDELSSOHN AND
SAMSON RAFAEL HIRSCH 8-K Jewish History

Category: History