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Young Ephraim: Ephraim’s Early Outlook As Expressed In City Of Heroes

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Chapter Summary

Ephraim acknowledged Solomon Luria as his primary teacher. Whether the Talmudic tradition itself contains a germ of philosophy or not, it is certain that the standard Ashkenazic rabbinic curriculum in the 16th century had incorporated certain traces of philosophical influences without recognizing them as such. In 1580, both Ephraim Luntshitz and Maharal identified themselves politically as ?anti-philosophical? i.e., they were resistant to the foreign ?philosophical? ideas represented by Eliezer Ashkenazi. Reading Ephraim Luntshitz?s first book City of Heroes shows one that in 1580 he knew as little philosophy as Maharal or less. It has been suggested that Maharal?s particular doctrine of Jewish particularism may have been modeled on that of the Calvinist Bohemian Brethren. It is likely, that the encounter with Eliezer helped Ephraim toward formulating his outlook in the concise, formulaic terms one finds in the Genesis sermon.

Keywords: Ashkenazic rabbinic curriculum; City of Heroes; Eliezer Ashkenazi; Ephraim Luntshitz; Genesis sermon; Jewish tradition; Maharal; Solomon Luria; Talmudic tradition



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