In an Age of Nihilism, Moses Mendelssohn’s Unshakable Faith in Providence and Immortality Still Inspires

Nov. 22 2019

In the 1980s, the legendary scholar Alexander Altmann produced a new edition of Jerusalem, the 18th-century German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn’s major work on Judaism and religious tolerance, and asked Allan Arkush to provide an English translation. Arkush reminisces about working with Altmann, an archetypal German Jew with vast knowledge and unfailing punctuality, and seeks to explain why he devoted so much of his career to Mendelssohn, a figure often derided or dismissed by Jewish thinkers:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: German Jewry, Jewish studies, Judaism, Moses Mendelssohn

At America’s Best Universities, Biblical Religion Is a Curiosity, if Not a Menace

Oct. 20 2021

At the time of Columbia University’s founding in 1784, notes Meir Soloviechik, the leader of the local synagogue, Gershom Mendes Seixas, was made a member of its board of regents. A Jewish student even gave a commencement address, composed by Seixas, in Hebrew. In the 20th century, Columbia attracted numerous Jews with the relaxation of quotas, and was the first secular university to create a chair in Jewish history. Barnard College, Columbia’s all-women’s school, was itself founded by a Jewish woman, and today has a large number of Orthodox Jewish students.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Commentary

More about: American Jewry, American Religion, Columbia University, Orthodoxy, University