Posts Tagged ‘Moses Mendelssohn’

“And when the yoke from without began to be lifted, and the spirit breathed more freely, one of eminently illustrious personality came upon the scene and influenced Jewish life to the present day. His freer intellectual development, indeed, owed much to the influence of forces extraneous to Judaism… In his personal life and practice an observant Jew, he showed his brethren throughout the world that a man could be strictly religious and yet enjoy the eminence and lustre of a German Plato. It was this ‘and yet’ which proved decisive. His successors contented themselves with the zealous cultivation of Tenakh on philological and aesthetic lines… to the neglect of Judaism itself.”

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Nineteen Letters, p. 30

“[T]he adherents of Jewish liberalism… traced the origin of the Reform Movement to [Moses Mendelssohn]. Mendelssohn’s writings, however, in which every word of the Jewish text is declared to be divine wisdom, prove the error of this thesis.”

Hermann Schwab, The History of Orthodox Jewry in Germany, Ch. II