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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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New Directions

(p.341) Conclusion
Haskalah and History

Shmuel Feiner

, Chaya Naor, Sondra Silverston
Liverpool University Press

This concluding chapter looks at Zionism and its relationship with Haskalah. Maskilic concepts, principles, and outlooks continued to influence the nationalist and Zionist stream in eastern Europe, and the maskilic sense of the past resonated in the Zionist historical awareness. This was particularly true in regard to the Zionists' critical attitude towards Jewish life in the Diaspora. There was also a similarity between the Haskalah and Zionism in their models of the role played by the past: both movements made selective use of the past in order to build their identity, find legitimization, and educate Jewish society. However, while Zionism attempted to construct a new national Judaism, the Haskalah hoped to use the past to build a new, regenerated, and transformed Jewish society and culture, free of all its old flaws and fit for normal life in the modern age. In this sense, maskilic history — the fruit of the maskilim's collective sense of the past over a century — did indeed serve the transformative ideology of the Haskalah of bringing the Jewish people out of the old world into the new.

Keywords:   Zionism, Haskalah, Zionists, Jewish life, Jewish society, national Judaism, Jewish culture, maskilic history, maskilim

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