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Der Juedische Sabbath, R. Samson b. Raphael Hirsch, Frankfurt 1908

Listing Image
  • Lot Number 53076
  • Title (English) Der Juedische Sabbath
  • Author R. Samason b. Raphael Hirsch
  • City Frankfurt am Main
  • Publisher J. Kauffmann
  • Publication Date 1908
  • Estimated Price - Low 200
  • Estimated Price - High 500

  • Item # 2304234
  • End Date
  • Start Date

Physical Description

48, [1] pp. quarto 218:146 mm., usual light age staining. A very good copy bound in contemporary boards.

Detail Description

Homily on the sanctity of the Sabbath by one of the great giants of German Jewry, R. Shimshon ben Raphael Hirsch. The text was arranged and edited by R. Isaac Ayzik Eliezer Hirshovits. There is an introduction and preface followed by the text of theses essays by one of the great thinkers of modern Jewry. R. Shimshon ben Raphael Hirsch (1808–1888) was a rabbi, writer, leader, and foremost exponent of Orthodoxy in Germany in the 19th century. Born in Hamburg, R. Hirsch studied Talmud with his grandfather R. Mendel Frankfurter there. His education was influenced by the enlightened Orthodox rabbis R. Jacob Ettlinger and R. Isaac Bernays , and by his father, R. Raphael, an opponent of the Reform congregation at the temple in Hamburg but also a supporter of ḥakham Bernays who included secular studies in the curriculum of the talmud torah of the city. Bernays had a great influence on Hirsch's philosophy of Judaism. Hirsch attended the University of Bonn for a year (1829), where he studied classical languages, history, and philosophy. He formed a friendship there with Abraham Geiger , and with him organized a society of Jewish students, ostensibly to study homiletics but with the deeper purpose of drawing them closer to Jewish values. The friendship of these two future leaders of the two opposing movements of German Jewry, was disrupted after Geiger published a sharp though respectful criticism of Hirsch's first publication. During the years 1830–41 Hirsch served as Landrabbiner of the principality of Oldenburg, a period in which he wrote his most significant works, Neunzehn Briefe ueber Judentum (Iggerot Ẓafon; "Nineteen Letters on Judaism"), first published under the pseudonym "Ben Uziel," Alatona 1836 (it has since appeared in many editions, including English, 1899; revised 1966), and Choreb, oder Versuche ueber Jissroels Pflichten in der Zerstreung (1837, 19215; Horeb – Essays on Israel's "Duties"in the Diaspora, 1962). These two works form a complete unit, in which Hirsch laid down his basic views on Judaism which were elaborated and explained in his subsequent writings. The first made a profound impression in German Jewish circles. It takes the form of an exchange of letters between a spokesman for the "perplexed," who expresses in the first letter the doubts of a young Jewish intellectual, and an older representative of traditional Judaism, who formulates his answers in 18 letters. Thus Hirsch employs a semi-dialogical form for his apologetic polemic. H. Graetz , who was deeply impressed by the "Nineteen Letters," came to Oldenburg in 1837 and remained there for three years in order to complete his Jewish education under the guidance of Hirsch. In 1841 R. Hirsch moved to Emden, where he served as rabbi of Aurich and Osnabrueck in Hanover. From 1846 to 1851 he lived in Nikolsburg (Mikolov) as Landrabbiner of Moravia. Here Hirsch took an energetic part in the struggle to obtain emancipation for Austrian and Moravian Jewry during the 1848 revolution, and was unanimously elected chairman of the Committee for the Civil and Political Rights of the Jews in Moravia. In Nikolsburg he also applied himself to reorganizing the internal structure of Moravian Jewry and drafted a constitution for a central Jewish religious authority for the whole country. R. Hirsch adopted moderate Orthodox positions in various areas, including ritual practices and Talmud Torah (the study of Torah), thereby provoking opposition among the extreme Orthodox element in Nikolsburg. In 1851, R. Hirsch was called to serve as rabbi of the Orthodox congregation Adass Yeshurun in Frankfurt on the Main, a position he held for 37 years until his death. Here he found a small circle of like-minded friends whose encouragement and moral support helped him develop and crystallize his conception of Judaism. The Orthodox congregation of Frankfurt, whose institutions, especially the educational system that he established and supervised, embodied Hirsch's ideas, served as a paradigm for other neo-Orthodox congregations in Germany. R. Hirsch considered a formal, institutional separation between Orthodox and Reform Judaism to be unnecessary, so long as the latter exercised caution in its demand for reforms and remained attached to halakhic tradition. However, in 1844 the Liberal rabbinical synod at Brunswick took a radical direction in regard to several prohibitions, especially those relating to the dietary and marriage laws. Hirsch urged them to reconsider their decision, warning that this approach of the Liberal rabbis would lead to a point where rupture within "the House of Israel" would be unavoidable. From the Liberal point of view, his demands were unacceptable. As authority in the congregations increasingly passed to the hands of the Liberals, a breach between the Orthodox and Reform and formal separation became a main focus of Hirsch and his supporters. As a precedent, Hirsch pointed to the congregation in Hungary, where the government in had recognized the Orthodox congregations as separate bodies. In a memorandum written by Hirsch (published in his writings, vol. 4, 239ff.), the representatives of Orthodox Judaism in Prussia asked "to permit the Jews to leave their local community organizations for reasons of conscience." In 1873 the Prussian Landtag debated a bill which would permit every person to leave his church or religious congregation and added to that bill a statement "that a Jew is permitted to leave his local congregation, for religious reasons, without leaving Judaism." In July 1876 the move was completed when the "Law of Secession" ("Austrittsgesetz") was passed and a legal basis created to establish a specific, organizational framework for neo-Orthodoxy. Nevertheless, to R. Hirsch's deep disappointment, the large majority of Orthodox Jews in Germany continued to remain within the framework of the general community (Gemeindeorthodoxie). This view also largely determined R. Hirsch's attitude to the modern, academic research of Judaism (Wissenschaft des Judentums ). For him there was one criterion according to which Jewish studies were to be measured, namely whether they contributed to the preservation and strengthening of actual "Jewish life." Where faithfulness in observance of the commandments is not put before speculation about them, the speculation becomes imprudent and deleterious.

Hebrew Description