Tobias Mendelssohn's Life And Beliefs

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Moses Mendelssohn

In this essay I will go into depth about Moses Mendelssohn’s life, beliefs, contributions and wether his contributions were positive or negative.

To begin my essay I will start with his life and summarise his achievements and significant events that happen throughout his life journey. Born on the 6th of September 1729 and died on the 4th of January 1786. He was a German philosopher, bible translator and commentator who immensely contributed to the integration of Jews into German society and culture. He also practiced Orthodox Judaism, but has been referred to as the father of Reform Judaism. Born to a poor Jewish family in Dessau, he educated himself in German thought and literature. He's fathers name was Mendel and he was
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Mendelssohn’s winning essay compared the certainty of philosophical propositions with that of mathematical ones and was the first to be printed under his own name (1764). “His most celebrated work however was, Phädon, oder über die Unsterblichkeit der Seele (1767; “Phaedo, or on the Immortality of the Soul”), defended the immortality of the soul against the materialism prevalent in his day; his title reflects his respect for Plato’s Phaedo.” In 1774 Moses had a nervous breakdown due to a dispute over Christianity with theologian J.C Lavater. Mendelssohn was soon involved in a new controversy that centred on the policy of exclusion. The disagreement arose when his friend Christian Wilhelm von Dohm agreed to compose a petition for the Jews of Alsace, who originally had sought Mendelssohn’s personal involvement for their freedom. Dohm’s Über die bürgerliche Verbesserung der Juden (1781; “On the Civil Improvement of the Jews”) pleaded for freedom but, illogically, added that the state should uphold the synagogue’s right to exclude its members. To combat the resulting hostility to Dohm’s book, Mendelssohn denounced exclusion in his preface (1782) to a German translation of Vindiciae Judaeorum (“Vindication of the Jews”) by Manasseh ben Israel. After an anonymous author accused him of subverting an essential part of Mosaic Law, Mendelssohn wrote Jerusalem, oder über religiöse Macht und Judentum (1783; “Jerusalem, or on Religious Power and Judaism”). This work held that force might be used by the state to control actions only; thoughts are inviolable by both church and

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