What is the purest form of Judaism

The old go to the synagogue ’/ And the new ones go to the temple“- Heine's examination of the central directions of contemporary Judaism

"Rabbi Faibisch, What is Apollo in High German" pp 92-140 | Cite as

Part of the Heine Studies book series (HEINEST)


Heine's membership in Cultural association also led to an intensive examination of the two fundamental currents of contemporary Judaism, the reform movement and orthodoxy. The Jewish reform movement, which emerged from the Jewish enlightenment movement, represents a response to the changed cultural and political conditions of Judaism in Germany at the beginning of the 19th century. The first internal Jewish reforms were initiated by David Friedländer in Prussia and Israel Jacobson in Westphalia. Friedländer, who had belonged to the Mendelssohn circle since his arrival in Berlin in 1771 and who considered himself a "[t] repentant student and friend of the worldly wise man Moses Mendelssohn"1 after his death in 1786 decisively promoted the enlightenment and emancipation of the Jews in Prussia. However, he soon strayed from his teacher's goals in two respects: “He rejected the dogma of a revealed ceremonial law [...] and restricted himself to natural religion, and he fought for the cultural emancipation of the Jews to be extended to the political sphere has been."2 Friedländer, who worked both theoretically and practically for a fundamental religious reform of Judaism and for civil equality for Jews,3 quickly became aware that the internal reforming of Judaism threatened to fail due to the resistance of the influential Orthodoxy.4 In addition, the hoped-for political emancipation did not seem to materialize.5.

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  1. Martin Bollacher, Wilhelm Abraham Teller. An enlightener of theology. In: About the process of the Enlightenment in Germany in the 18th century. People, institutions and media, ed. by Hans Erich Bödeker and Ulrich Herrmann, Göttingen 1987, p. 51. Google Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2008

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