UMD JWST 235 - Notion of Modernization of Jewish Identity

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Notion of Modernization of Jewish IdentityI. New Norms and Values—radical changes in the values and practices of societya. Break or transformationb. Internal dissolution vs. external influencec. Geographic distinctionsII. Communal Authority—the Jewishness they run in to isn’t the Jewishness they expected and this causes tension; authority structure is being challengeda. Marranismi. Benedict Spinozaii. Uriel da CostaIII. Sabbateanisma. Sabbetai Sevi 1665-1666 and afteri. He is a sinner, because by sinning he enters the world of evil in order to redeem mankindii. The rise of mystical theology—god is not distant and that we can somehow contact him; for Christians, Jesus is the intermediary but Judaism does not have an intermediary1. Mystics began to believe you could experience god directly and that they could change the world; that the task of mankind was those commandments because by doing them, they are redeeming the universe; empowering of mankindb. Broad appealc. Justifying apostasy (holiness through sin)i. After upsetting the rulers, he doesn’t want to cause a lot of drama so Sabbetai convertsd. Dönmeh—Greece, outwardly Muslim and inwardly Sabbatean; Frankists—PolishIV. (Another Theory how Modernity comes into the Jewish World): Social Breakdowna. Azriel Shohati. Class tensions—they are open to these new ideas because of a social breakdown in and among Ashkenazi Jews; the pattern of settlement and migration Jews tend to live in isolated settlements, this will tend to prevent them from developing thereally strong, traditional communities that can impose authorityii. Right of residenceb. Jacob KatzV. (Semi-) Neutral societya. Intellectual space—Amsterdam had begun to breed a society composed of many different religions and this created an intellectual community insteadof one dominated by a religion personalityb. Masonic lodges—the places to go to study and learn, Masons are not frowned upon, rather they were the guys who were excited about reason and intellect; Jews were allowed to joinc. Mendelssohn and Lessingi. Mendelssohn got out of the world of traditional Jewish thought andhad the nerve to write his true thoughts, also those directed at the kingii. Father figure of the Haskalah (enlightenment)—transitive term telling people they should become more enlightenediii. Tried to avoid the question of religion or tradition; still remained an observant Jew and member of the community; arguing against the legitimacy of the Jewish authority over peopleVI. Geographya. Usually understood as west to east transferb. Germany to:i. Eastern Europe (Poland and Russia) and ii. Ottoman Empire (Middle East and North Africa)c. Danger of this simplistic modeli. Local contextii. Agencies of changeVII. Enlightened Expectationsa. Voltaireb. Isaac de Pinto (Sephardic vs. Ashkenazic Jewish types) 1762c. Portrayal of Jews and Judaism in Encyclopedia is negatived. The Enlightenment did not exist in a vacuumVIII. Externality of the Enlightenmenta. For Jews this was both a source of attraction and a limitationb. Seen as threatening traditional lifec. Is the Maskil a radical?

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UMD JWST 235 - Notion of Modernization of Jewish Identity

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