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The Appearance Of Enlightened Orthodoxy In Response To Modern Philosophy—Naphtali Herz Wessely And Mordecai Gumpel Schnaber

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Chapter Summary

This chapter cites as a typical instance the teaching of one famous maskil, whose influence on the development of the Hebrew Haskalah was especially prominent - the Hebrew poet Naphtali Herz Wessely (1725-1805). The first attempt to deal with the challenge of the new philosophers, including Kant, on the basis of traditional Jewish philosophy was undertaken by another pious philosopher, a contemporary of Wessely, Mendelssohn, and Kant. As a reputed physician and scientist of his time, Schnaber took an interest in modern philosophy and culture. The Reform movement vehemently disagreed with Mendelssohn's view that Judaism is to be identified with halakha and has no principles with a status of obligatory beliefs. Modern Orthodoxy tended rather to accept Mendelssohn's view in this respect.

Keywords: Jewish philosophy; Judaism; modern orthodoxy; modern philosophy; Mordecai Gumpel Schnaber; Naphtali Herz Wessely; Reform movement



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