Moses Mendelssohn's Hebrew Writings

Moses Mendelssohn's Hebrew Writings


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German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786) was one of the most influential thinkers of the Enlightenment. Until now, attention was focused on Mendelssohn’s German works—such as his groundbreaking Jerusalem—which have been duly translated into English. Edward Breuer and David Sorkin assert that his Hebrew works are essential for understanding both his biography and his oeuvre. This volume offers expertly translated and generously annotated selections from the entire corpus of Mendelssohn’s published Hebrew writings.

Mendelssohn wrote in Hebrew throughout his life, but these works—mainly grounded in biblical and other Hebrew classical works—have been hitherto inaccessible to most scholars. In this volume, Breuer and Sorkin make an important contribution to modern Jewish and religious thought, refuting the notion that Mendelssohn led a bifurcated intellectual and spiritual existence and demonstrating Mendelssohn’s ability to transform traditional religious genres into vehicles for philosophical argumentation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300229028
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 05/22/2018
Series: Yale Judaica Series , #33
Pages: 560
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Edward Breuer teaches in the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. David Sorkin is the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Modern Jewish History at Yale University. His most recent book is The Religious Enlightenment: Protestants, Jews, and Catholics from London to Vienna.

Table of Contents

Translator's Acknowledgments ix

General Notes to the Translation xi

List Of Abbreviations xiii

Introduction: The Mendelssohn Myth and the Asymmetrical Reception of the Hebrew Writings 1

I Qohelet Musar/Preacher Of Morals 21

Editors' Introduction 23

Selections 28

II Be'ur Millot Ha-Higgayon/Commentary on the Treatise on Logical Terms 51

Editors' Introduction 53

Selections 66

III Megillat Qohelet/Commentary on Ecclesiastes 107

Editors' Introduction 109

Selections 123

IV Sefer Netivot Ha-Shalom/The Paths of Peace 219

Editors' Introduction 221

Or Li-Netivah/A Light For The Path: A General Introduction to All Five Books [Of The Pentateuch] 241

Selections From Genesis 303

Selections From Exodus 325

Selections From Leviticus, Numbers, And Deuteronomy 471

Additional Bibliography 493

Glossary 497

General Index 503

Index Of Sources 521

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