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Haskalah and HistoryThe Emergence of a Modern Jewish Historical Consciousness$
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Shmuel Feiner

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774433

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774433.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 24 January 2022

Maskilic History in Crisis

Maskilic History in Crisis

(p.274) Five Maskilic History in Crisis
Haskalah and History

Shmuel Feiner

, Chaya Naor, Sondra Silverston
Liverpool University Press

This chapter recounts how, in the 1860s, the radical maskilim burst onto the stage of the Haskalah in Russia, provoking a protest from within the maskilic camp. They were young, self-educated men in their twenties and thirties, natives of Lithuania and Belarus, employed in teaching and clerical positions. This radical stream began by criticizing the literature of the Haskalah. The radicals claimed that the works of the Haskalah authors were cut off from the spirit of the time and the real problems of the people. The mission of the Haskalah, they argued, was to inject vitality into Jewish life, acting as a counterweight to the traditional leadership that was suffocating it. Moreover, the radicals believed that Jewish culture was permeated with an excess of spirituality, which they wished to replace with the natural sciences. As far as the moderate maskilim were concerned, radicalism posed a dangerous threat and was a total departure from the Haskalah.

Keywords:   radical maskilim, Russian Haskalah, Haskalah literature, Haskalah authors, Haskalah, Jewish life, Jewish culture, natural sciences, radicalism

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