FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials

Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 |


-- [ Page 1 ] --




By MOSHE PELLI, Ben-Gurion University of the

Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel

LIKE MANY of his fellow-maskilim, Mordechai Gumpel

Schnaber, known also as George Levison, has been a contro-

versial figure during his lifetime, and an enigma to this day.

Perhaps it is owing to his stature as a well known physician and as one of the first Jews to have been given the title of Professor, that a number of articles have been devoted to him in recent years.

Although this is more than could be said about many other maskilim of the early period of Haskalah in Germany, these articles either lay the groundwork of sketching his life or else treat aspects of his writings which are only secondary to Schnaber's role in the Hebrew Haskalah.1 It is for this reason that the current endeavor is 1 Following are the most important references dealing with Schnaber (in alphabetical order):

Edward Duckesz, Chachme AHW [The Sages of AHW] (Hamburg, I908), pp. 32, 93 [in the German and Hebrew sections, respectively];

Samuel Fiinn, "Safah Lene'emanim," ["Language for the Trust- worthy"] Hakarmel, IV (July, 1879) pp. 396-397; Julius Fiirst, Bibliotheca Judaica, II (Leipzig, I85I), pp. 238-239; Heinz Mosche Graupe, "Mordechai Gumpel (Levison)," Bulletin des Leo Baeck In- stituts, V(No. 17, June, 1962), pp. I-I2. Graupe's article is by far the most exhaustive, up-to-date study of Schnaber; it presents first a short biography of Schnaber which is based on some new data published by Schoeps (see below), thus correcting previous information on the Hebrew physician. The article further discusses Schnaber's philosophy which is said to be antithetical to that of the Hebrew and German Haskalah. The Jewish Encyclopedia, VIII (I916), p. 46; Ben-Zion Katz, "Toldoth Haskalath Hayehudim Berusiah," ["The History of the Enlightenment of the Jews in Russia"] Hazman, I(January-April, 1903), pp. 80-8I; G. Kressel, Lexicon Hasifruth Hacivrith Badoroth Ha'aharoniml [Cyclopedia of Modern Hebrew Literature], II(Merhaviah, I967), p. 954; F. Lah.over, Hasifruth Hacivrith Hahadashah [Modern


undertaken, namely, to examine the Hebrew works of the said maskil from the angle of Hebrew Haskalah of which indeed he has been a part.2 In his advocacy of Enlightenment, Schnaber preceded the Hebrew German maskilim both in preaching and in practice Hebrew Literature], I (Tel Aviv, 1928), p. 91; Raphael Mahler, Divrei Yemei Yisra'el[:] Doroth 'Aharonim [History of the Jewish People in Modern Times], I, 2(Merhaviah, 1954), PP. 54, 8i; Moses Margoliouth, The History of the Jews in Great Britain, II(London, 185I), pp. I 8-119;

Josef Meisl, Haskalah (Berlin, 1919), p. I6; James Picciotto, Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History (London, 1875), p. 144; Cecil Roth, "The Haskalah in England," Essays Presented to [...] Israel Brodie (London, I967), PP. 367-368; Hans Joachim Schoeps, "Gumpertz LevisonLeben und Werk Eines Gelehrten Abenteurers des i8. Jahrhunderts," Zeitschrift fiir Religions- und Geistesgeschichte IV(I952), pp. 150-I6I, republished also in his book Studien zur unbekannten Religions- und

Geistesgeschichte (Berlin, 1963), ss. 216-227; Translated into French:

"La Vie et l'CEuvre de Gumpertz Levison," Revue d'Histoire de la Medicine Hdbraqque, XXVII(I955), pp. I33-I43. It is a short, up-todate biography debunking several long-held details of Schnaber's life.

See also Schoeps, Barocke Juden Christen Judenchristen (Bern, I965), ss. 109-113, and his article "Lakaren och Alkemisten Gumpertz Levison," Lychnos (Uppsala, 1944), 230-248. Siegfried Stein, "Sefer Giddul Banim," Remember the Days. Essays in Honour of Cecil Roth (Oxford, I966), pp. I68-I69; Israel Zinberg. Toldoth Sifruth Yisra'el [History of the Literature of Israel], V (Merhaviah & Tel Aviv, 1959), p. 290.

2 As I shall discuss it below, I disagree with Graupe's view in his article (cited above) that Schnaber did not belong to the circle of the Hebrew maskilim. The Hebrew maskil started his Haskalah activities long before the formation of the circle of the maskilim: dissemination of scientific knowledge in the Hebrew language (in his book '1Rt3 1n nl r 1t'n nf [An Essay (of) the Torah and Wisdom], (London, I77I) heralded a similar trend of the Hebrew Haskalah. Schnaber stressed, already at this early stage of Hebrew Haskalah, the necessity for the revival of the Hebrew language. In 1784 Schnaber published excerpts from his book on that subject in Hanmeassef, encouraging the editors to proceed with their struggle for Enlightenment, although not through extreme and war-like ways. A detailed description could be found in my study entitled The Attitude of the First Maskilim toward the Hebrew Language (Austin, Texas, I970; Beer Sheva, Israel, I972), scheduled for publication in 1974 in the Bulletin of the Institute of Jewish Studies (London). His other works, too, typify the ways of the Hebrew Haskalah: A modern interpretation of Maimonides, and an exegesis of the book of Koheleth. A detailed discussion will follow.


by some twelve or thirteen years; in his allusion, at first, and direct reference later to religious reform, he preceded the more extremist German Jewish reformers by some two decades.

Thus, Schnaber could be considered as one of the early enlighteners of the Hebrew Haskalah,3 and perhaps as the first maskil who alluded to religious reforms at the time.

Significantly, the tools used by Schnaber for his Enlightenment and religious reform purposes are taken mostly from the old, traditional school, namely, exegesis of revered texts and a philosophical and theological interpretation of Maimonides.

This use of the traditional form and style may explain the presence of traditional views alongside with Schnaber's more advanced ideas. His conservatism is in no way unique to him; for, in effect, we have found a similar trend in the writings of some of the other Hebrew maskilim.4 Undoubtedly, 3 Schnaber's utterances on the Hebrew language in Ma'amar Hatorah Vehahochmah, p. 5, are regarded by Cecil Roth as "almost a Haskalah manifesto!" ("The Haskalah in England," p. 368). Roth suggests that Schnaber might have been the author of another early Haskalah work, Sefer Giddul Banim, containing suggestions of educational reforms (ibid., p. 367). Siegfried Stein, in his article on "Sefer Giddul Banim," pp. I68-I69, rejects Roth's suggestion.

4 See mybook nf11Itn '4 : 'nl nt ttt'V [Moses Mendelssohn;

Bonds of Tradition] (Tel Aviv, I972), and my articles: "Intimations of Religious Reform in the German Hebrew Haskalah Literature," Jewish Social Studies, XXXII (No. I, January, I970), pp. 3-13;

"The Methodology Employed by the Hebrew Reformers in the First Reform Temple Controversy (I818-I819)," Studies in Jewish Bibliography, History and Literature in honor of I. Edward Kiev(New York, 1971), pp. 381-397; "The Religious Reforms of 'Traditionalist' Rabbi Saul Berlin (A Chapter in the History of the Struggle of Hebrew Haskalah in Germany for the Revival of Judaism)," Hebrew Union College Annual, XLII(I97I), pp. 1-23 [Hebrew]; "Some Notes on the Nature of Saul Berlin's Writings," The Journal of Hebraic Studies, I(No. 2, I970), pp. 47-6I; Naphtali Herz Wessely's Attitude toward the Jewish Religion as a Mirror of a Generation in Transition (During the Early Period of Hebrew Haskalah in Germany) (Beer-Sheva, Israel, I97I), to be published also in Zeitschrift fiir Religions- und Geistesgeschichte in I974; Isaac Satanow's 'Mishlei Asaf' As Reflecting the Ideology of the German Hebrew Haskalah (Beer-Sheva, 1972), published in Zeitschrift fir Religions- und Geistesgeschichte, XXV (No. 3, 1973), pp. 225-242.


292 Schnaber resembles his contemporary maskilim in this regard for he, too, typifies his generation as a generation of transition.

While all generations are in transition, the one under study may be more representative of an overall transition, from one historic period to another, which lasted for a century, till the end of the Haskalah in the last quarter of the Igth century.

The use of the writings of Maimonides as a springboard for Enlightenment is also quite typical of the maskilim in their search for a guide, an authoritative guide, to enhance their ideas and ideals.5 The explanation cited above regarding the presence of the elements of the new and the old together in Schnaber's Hebrew writings is not fully understood, or at least not expressed, by most students of the period, of its thought and literature.

One suspects that the complexities of the Hebrew Haskalah and its exponents are being ignored at times, for the sake of simplification and generalization. The purpose, it seems, is to make the Hebrew Haskalah more homogeneous, and thus more understandable, than it actually was.

Although these comments do not fully fit the very fine study of Schnaber by Graupe, some generalities in that study are believed to be erroneous. At first sight, writes Graupe, 5 Solomon Maimon writes about his great admiration and indebtness to Maimonides in his autobiography, The Life of Solomon Maimon (Tel Aviv, 1953), pp. 260-26I [Hebrew]. Solomon Maimon as well as other maskilim published commentaries on Maimonides' works: Moreh Nevuchim [Guide for the Perplexed] (Berlin, I79I); Mendelssohn's commentary on Miloth Hahigayon [Words of Meditation, or Logic], first published in I76I. Quotations from Maimonides in the writings of the maskilim and their application to the furtherance of Haskalah goals are too numerous to cite. Cf. F. Lahover, "Harambam Vehahaskalah Hacivrith Bereshitah" ["Maimonides and the Early Hebrew Haskalah"], Moznayim, III (I-6, Tishrei-Adar Bet, 1938-39), pp. 539Joseph Schechter, "The Attitude of the Haskalah Generation and Our Generation to Maimonides," Limudei Hayahaduth Bahinuch Hacal Yesodi [Judaic Studies in Post Elementary Education (Tel Aviv, 1968), pp. 107-IIo [Hebrew]; Isaac Eisenstein-Barzilay, "The Ideology of the Berlin Haskalah," Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, XXV(I956), pp. 4-7.

MORDECHAI GUMPEL SCHNABER-PELLI 293 Schnaber would appear, after having read a short biography of him, as an assimilationist, as an outspoken defender of Enlightenment, as though he stood close to the circle of the Me'assfim, the Hebrew enlighteners. A completely different picture emerges from his Hebrew writings, writes Graupe;

accordingly, he was not in the circle of the enlighteners, in the circle of Mendelssohn, Herz, Euchel and Friedlander.6 Associating "assimilationist" with "an outspoken defender of Enlightenment," even in his context, is rather strange.

For it may mislead the reader to believe that the writer is dealing with synonymous terms, namely, that "assimilationist" and "enlightener" are necessarily identical. Further, it appears that Graupe does not believe that Schnaber has anything to do with the Hebrew maskilim, their movement, their writings, and their ideology. Although Schnaber may not have adhered to the same philosophical principles of the Wolffian school which were held by Mendelssohn, the two still have many other ideas in common in the spheres of Judaism, theology, and Hebrew Haskalah. The ambivalent attitude toward tradition on the one hand, and toward enlightenment on the other, is typical of both maskilim.7 There is the attempt on the side of both maskilim to preserve Judaism and to defend it in the face of extreme anti-Jewish views among the European enlighteners. Yet they also endeavored to introduce Enlightenment into Judaism. Putting Mendelssohn and Friedlander together is not as simple as it may appear, as indeed any one familiar with the subject at hand surely knows. In addition, the circle of Hame'assfim was not a unified body with unified Weltanschauung; the editors of Hame'assef changed, and more often its writers did.

Schnaber's views, as discussed below, indeed show his part in the Hebrew Haskalah. In spite of my disagreement with some of Graupe's views on Schnaber, I think that his conclusions are quite meritorious; Schnaber should be considered 6 Graupe, "Mordechai Gumpel (Levison)," pp. 5-8.

7 Cf. Moshe Mendelssohn: Bechavlei Masoreth, pp. 9, I8-I9, 75-84.


294 as a definite representative of Enlightenment, but only of one segment of Haskalah.

My discussion below attempts to prove that.

Schnaber's first book, n,nrm,inn i,i 3K m, was published in I77I in London, where he stayed for his medical education and practice. The book is an encyclopedia of knowledge dealing with mathematics, physics, and some other sciences, while leaving metaphysics for the second volume that has never been published.8 In addition, a long introductory essay in defense of the study of the sciences, shows, or endeavors to show, that Judaism has no objection to the study of these sciences. The essay further analyzes some aspects of traditional Judaism and its books from an Enlightenment point of view.

This kind of apologetical introduction which essentially wishes to show the compatibility of Judaism and wisdom could be found in the writings of the other maskilim in a way that it may reflect both a state of mind of the given writer, as well as the state of mind of his cultural and religious milieu.

Occasionally, one is hesitant as to whether or not the attempt to show the compatibility of Judaism and wisdom, that is, the sciences, actually reflects the philosophy of a given writer at the time of writing; perhaps it reflects his awareness of and his reaction to the traditional views of his contemporaries, and thus his writings may assume a compromising tone for strategical reasons.

Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 |

Similar works:

«Presentation of the funded projects in 2010 for the ARPEGE Programme Page AEOLUS – Managing the complexity of the cloud 3 ARMS – A multi arms robotic system for muscle separation 4 BMOS – Biometric matching on smartcard 5 CERCLES2 – Compositional certification of critical and safe embedded 6 software COROUSSO – Modelling and control of robots for machining operations of 7 large composite parts and friction stir welding EMAISECI – Electro-magnetic analysis and injection of secure...»

«CAPES AND SWORDS: TEACHING THE THEATRICALITY OF GOLDEN AGE POETRY Bradley J. Nelson Concordia University, Montreal “debajo de mi manto, al rey mato.” Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quijote I A s is the case with many undergraduate Spanish programs, the teaching of Golden Age poetry at Concordia University is combined with that of Golden Age theater. Although this arrangement severely limits what one can do with either of these significant and vast cultural phenomena, the traditional rationale for...»

«Recensement des prérequis à la mise en place de navettes maritimes dans les deux Culs-de-sac marins de   la Rivière Salée Note de Synthèse    10 juillet 2015      L’Observatoire Régional des Transports de Guadeloupe a été créé dans le cadre d’un partenariat entre la DEAL Guadeloupe et l’ADEME, partenariat aujourd’hui élargi à la Région Guadeloupe, avec pour objectifs majeurs :  Affiner la connaissance du secteur des transports en Guadeloupe,  Accompagner les...»

«EVOKED POTENTIAL CORRELATES OF ACCURACY AND CONFIDENCE IN A VISUAL DETECTION TASK Item type text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic) Authors Rasmussen, Charles Thorvald, 1939Publisher The University of Arizona. Rights Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with...»

«LE SERVICE D’AMATEUR AU LUXEMBOURG MANUEL DE L’UTILISATEUR UTILISATION DES STATIONS RADIOELECTRIQUES DU SERVICE D’AMATEUR CONDITIONS GENERALES DE LICENCES OBTENTION DES CERTIFICATS HAREC ET NOVICE Adresse postale: L – 2922 Luxembourg Tél.: +352 28 228 228 Fax: +352 28 228 229 URL: http://www.ilr.lu Edition 2014 Table des matières Table des matières 1 Introduction 1.1 Quelle est la procédure à suivre en vue de l’obtention des autorisations nécessaires au Grand-Duché de...»

«LOCAL MARINE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: The Role of Fijian Villagers in Co-Managing a Small-Scale Fishery Annette Mühlig-Hofmann School of Marine Science & Technology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. mhannette@hotmail.com Abstract This case study presents findings from Gau Island, Fiji, on a local initiative to reinforce community-based management and make it more applicable to contemporary challenges. Local communities are becoming increasingly involved in coastal marine resource...»

«Boise State University College of Arts and Sciences 2010 Report Table of Contents Introduction Vision.. 1 Mission Statement.. 1 COAS Today Organization Chart.. 3 State Appropriated Budget.. 4 Academic Programs and Faculty Scholarship. 5 Research Centers.. 22 Accomplishments and Awards. Enrollment Management Course Delivery.. 28 Managing Enrollments.. 31 Strategic Planning – a Progress Report Background.. 37 Academic Excellence.. 39 Public Engagement.. 42 Vibrant Culture.. 51 Excellent...»

«NEW SOUTH WALES GOVERNMENT     WATER INDUSTRY COMPETITION ACT 2006     RETAIL SUPPLIER’S LICENCE      Water Factory Company Pty Ltd (ABN 28 136 272 298) SCHEDULE A SPECIAL MINISTERIALLY-IMPOSED LICENCE CONDITIONS FOR WATER FACTORY COMPANY PTY LTD’S RETAIL SUPPLIER'S LICENCE This schedule sets out the conditions which the Minister imposes pursuant to section 13(1)(b) of the Act. In addition to these Ministerially-imposed conditions, the Licensee is subject to obligations imposed by...»

«MINUTES BOARD OF REGENTS May 27, 2015 The Board of Regents met in session at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 27, 2015, in the Louisiana Purchase Room, Claiborne Building, 1201 North Third Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Chair Roy Martin called the meeting to order.ROLL CALL Executive Assistant Carolyn Blanchard called the roll, and a quorum was established. Present for the meeting were: Absent for the meeting were: Roy Martin III, Chair Maggie Brakeville Joseph Farr, Secretary Raymond Brandt Mark...»

«C6 Charter Halibut RQE Program DECEMBER 2015 INITIAL REVIEW DRAFT Regulatory Impact Review/ Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis/ Environmental Assessment for a Proposed Regulatory Amendment Halibut Charter Recreational Quota Entity and Charter Halibut Permit Recency Action December 2015 For further information contact: Sarah Marrinan, North Pacific Fishery Management Council 605 W 4th Ave, Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501 (907) 271-2809 Abstract: This Regulatory Impact Review/Initial...»

«AD-A264 929 11111Nfl111E 111.111 NATURAL LANGUAGE DTI_ GENERATION SLECTE D MAY 2 4 1993 S~A f Final Report ir September 1, 1987 May 31, 1991 Eduard H. Hovy Information Sciences Institute University of Southern California 4676 Admiralty Way Marina del Rey, CA 90292-6695 Report of research Sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DoD) Technical Office: DARPA-ISTO Project Title: Natural Language 2 ARPA Order No. 6096 Issued by Dr. J.A. Sears under Contract # MDA903-87-C-0641....»

«NDA 20-487/S-007 Page 2 PRESCRIBING INFORMATION ® VALTREX (valacyclovir hydrochloride) Caplets DESCRIPTION VALTREX (valacyclovir hydrochloride) is the hydrochloride salt of L-valyl ester of the antiviral drug acyclovir (ZOVIRAX® Brand, GlaxoSmithKline). VALTREX Caplets are for oral administration. Each caplet contains valacyclovir hydrochloride equivalent to 500 mg or 1 gram valacyclovir and the inactive ingredients carnauba wax, colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, FD&C Blue No. 2 Lake,...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.