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On rabbinic opposition to Frankel, see also Shnayer Z. Five of the pages in the book were reserved for an entry on Hirsch, his literary output, and an account of his fight against reformers.
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Benjamin, Three Years in America, vol. Hirsch, of Frankfurt o. Compare this with the remarks of radical reformer, David Einhorn. For Hirsch to condemn a superior scholar like Frankel, Bondi maintained, was tantamount to the mistakes of those who burned the works of the peerless Maimonides in the thirteenth century. Although they were fewer in number, traditional Jews controlled a large stake of the late nineteenth century Jewish press.
Rabbi S. Hirsch stood foremost among the orthodox leaders of Judaism in Germany, and his name and work were highly respected by all sides.
See American Israelite January 12, : 4. According to the Messenger, the only German Jewish ideologue who truly succeeded in his mission was Frankel. He succeeded, it is true, in establishing a strong community in Frankfurt, but not in popularizing his views among any large number.
The debates and brochures of the day aroused fresh life in Jewish circles, and stimulated a good deal of literary activity. But … [t]he future belongs to the school which shall strive to reconcile past and present with firm- ness, honesty, reverence, and knowledge. And if after patient, long- continued effort, such reconciliation is impossible, they shall not hide their failure behind a mask of phrases, but avow it openly. We, too, are as near to God as were Moses and the prophets.
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Judaism must be voice, not echo, in the coming age. Yet geography alone cannot account for the imbalance. Werner E. Mohr, , ; and Grunfeld, Three Generations, Jacob Katz New York: Transaction, , More- over, the immobility of Torah im Derekh Erets in the eastern sections of Europe also impaired the transmission of Hirschian teachings to America. This warrants explanation.
Several biographers of Hirsch have been quick to point out that Hirsch maintained correspondence with Israel Salanter and Isaac Elhanan Spektor. The simple truth is that Hirsch was introduced to these prominent rabbis while vacationing at a common site on the Lithuanian seashore. While still a young man, Hirsch con- tracted malaria and suffered chronic bouts of illness for the remainder of his life. More indicative of the reality is an oft-quoted letter from Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, a German scholar and Proto-Zionist, whose significant influ- ence on eastern Jews made him an important liaison between the two regions.
This biography of a pioneering Zionist and leader of American Reform Judaism adds significantly to our understanding of American and southern Jewish history.
Max Heller was a man of both passionate conviction and inner contradiction. He sought to be at the center of current affairs, not as a spokesperson of centrist opinion, but as an agitator or mediator, constantly struggling to find an acceptable path as he confronted the major issues of the day -- racism and Jewish emancipation in eastern Europe, nationalism and nativism, immigration and assimilation.
Heller's life experience provides a distinct vantage point from which to view the complexity of race relations in New Orleans and the South and the confluence of cultures that molded his development as a leader. A Bohemian immigrant and one of the first U. Far more than a congregational rabbi, Heller assumed an activist role in local affairs, Reform Judaism, and the Zionist movement, maintaining positions often unpopular with his neighbors, congregants, and colleagues.