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Auserwältes Volk und Staatsbürger Juden und Nichtjuden in der Lehre von Rabbi Elias Gutmacher

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image of Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte

The Jewish emancipation in Germany (1869-1871) brought about a fundamental change in the position of Jews in state and society, leading to a rapprochement between Jews and their non-Jewish surroundings. For religious Jews, this transition into neutral society brought up fundamental theological questions: How is emancipation to be evaluated from a religious perspective? What is the appropriate relationship with the state? How should Jews interact with Gentiles? How could Jews integrate into society without denying the singularity of Israel and without neglecting their religious obligations? Rabbi Elias Gutmacher (1796-1874) was one of the religious leaders of Judaism in Germany whose scholarship was deeply concerned with such questions. Gutmacher was from Grätz in the Posen region and became primarily known as a cabbalist. The following article summarizes his views on the topic, which can be found in his literary oeuvre and most of all in his sermons.


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