Mosess Mendelssohn Analysis

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Change is a central aspect in the study of human history; it provides contrast to monotony and is essential for the progress of society. Over the course of Jewish history, many events and people have shaped both continuity and change. In late eighteenth-century Prussia, Moses Mendelssohn lead a number of initiatives eventually resulting in vast societal change. As a result of introducing mainstream culture into Jewish life, improving Jewish civil rights and revising the central fabric of Judaism, Mendelssohn orchestrated large changes in many aspects of both Christo-European and Jewish life. Mendelssohn ultimately brought Judaism into modernity as a result of his active role in introducing reforms and new ideologies into society. In introducing such reforms, Moses Mendelssohn bridged the gap between Jewish and secular German culture. Contrary to popular trend in pre-Modern Jewish life, Mendelssohn received a strong secular education in addition to his vast knowledge in Judaic matter. His love of learning was paramount to his success, evident in his poetic skill displayed at the young age of ten (Allen). Moreover utilizing such an education, Mendelssohn translated the Tanach into …show more content…
Mendelssohn’s blending of Jewish and secular/Christian German culture, advocacy for the civic rights of Jews and commentary on Jewish tradition and law sparked the eighteenth century phenomenon of the Haskalah. The change in Jewish practice and theology marked the start of the modern period in Jewish history, bringing new concepts such as new sects, Zionism and integration with society. Arguably, it is the biggest change to take place since the transition away from Temple worship and sacrifice. However, both continuity and change must unite to keep history going; one can not stay the same forever, nor can one change rapidly for risk of identity

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