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Kabbalistic Culture of Eighteenth-century PragueEzekiel Landau and His Contemporaries$
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Sharon Flatto

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113393

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113393.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

Mystical and Modernizing Trends: Prague’s Rabbinic Culture Threatened

Mystical and Modernizing Trends: Prague’s Rabbinic Culture Threatened

(p.64) Three Mystical and Modernizing Trends: Prague’s Rabbinic Culture Threatened
Kabbalistic Culture of Eighteenth-century Prague

Sharon Flatto

Liverpool University Press

This chapter identifies various trends and developments which threatened Prague's traditional culture during the last decades of the eighteenth century. It analyses the unique responses of Prague's rabbinate to the Haskalah, the increasing centralization of the Habsburg state, and Sabbatianism. It also points out the importance of the state in the transformation of Prague's traditional Jewish society, particularly its embrace of German culture and cites Joseph II's systematic policy of Germanization that reshaped several of the central community institutions. The chapter highlights state-imposed secular education that forced the rabbinic authorities to modify the curriculum offered to Prague's Jewish youth. It discusses the traditional rabbinic assertion of the primacy of Torah, which precluded the study of extra-talmudic subjects.

Keywords:   traditional culture, rabbinate, Haskalah, Jewish society, Joseph II, traditional Jewish society, Germanization, secular education, Jewish youth

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