By David Sorkin
The Transformation of German Jewry, 1780-1840 exemplified a twofold revolution: on one point, the tip of the feudal prestige of Jews as an independent neighborhood compelled them to stand a prolonged strategy of political emancipation, a far-reaching social metamorphosis, and growing to be racial anti-Semitism; but, on one other point, their come across with the encompassing tradition led to their very own severe cultural productiveness.
In this ground-breaking examine, David Sorkin argues that emancipation and stumble upon with German tradition and society led to not assimilation yet to the production of a brand new Jewish id and community--a actual and colourful way of life that produced lots of Judaism's glossy events and fostered a pantheon of exceptional writers, artists, composers, scientists, and lecturers.
He contends that German-Jewish lifestyle was once established no longer, as largely believed, on nationalistic (Jewish as opposed to German) or non secular (Jewish as opposed to Christian) disparities, yet particularly at the fight for freedom and social recognition in German society. by means of learning German Jewry's cultural heritage in its social and political context, in addition to within the higher surroundings of German heritage, this learn firmly asserts that the way of life either special German Jewry from different eu Jewish groups and accounted for its members' admired position in Jewish and normal tradition.
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Additional info for The Transformation of German Jewry, 1780-1840
Thus the question of Jewish rights symbolized the new sort of society the liberal Gebildeten envisioned. The Jews served as the testing ground for their Enlightenment ideals. The liberal Gebildeten advocated emancipation out of logical consistency with their vision of social reform. It would be mistaken to assume that they had any affection for the Jews. In fact, they tended to view the Jews in a way that significantly qualified their concept of emancipation. The Gebildeten transmuted the Christian assumption that Judaism was theologically inferior into a secular, moral inferiority.
The state as a legal institution should be cognizant of the Jews as men who have an imprescriptible right to legal equality. 82 Humboldt's view did not prevail. The process of emancipation remained incomplete, with rights being given conditionally, in exchange for regeneration, as part of the larger transformation of states and societies. This practice of emancipation stood in contradiction to the theory upon which it rested, for it perpetuated rather than eliminated the distinctions between Jews and the rest of society.
As for their economic utility, Riihs asserted that the Jews would not contribute to the national wealth but would concentrate it in their own hands. Since they do not engage in labor, whether agricultural or artisanal, they can only exploit the wealth created by the German populace. In this portion of his argument Riihs did not go beyond the objections which Schwager, Michaelis, and other contemporaries had raised to Dohm's book. Where Riihs did depart from earlier opponents of Jewish emancipation was in his romantic notion of the Christian state.
The Transformation of German Jewry, 1780-1840 by David Sorkin