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Orthodox Jews that opposed Hasidism
Hebrew word of enlightenment. Marked the movement of the adoption of values pressing integration into European society, and an increase in the eduication of secular, Hebrew and Jewish history studies. AND THUS...a greater Jewish involvement in the secular world. Movement inadvertently/ultimately attempts to mend the controversy between Mitnagdim and Hasidism. The movement physically allowed Jews to leave the ghettos and enter into the
Region of Imperial Russia in which Jews were granted permanent residency in, but generally prohibited out.
Central body of Jewish authority composed of local kehillot delegates discussing taxation, among other issues pertaining to the Jewish community.
3 subsequent territoral divisions, headed by Russia, Prussia and Austria that progressively reduced and eventually eliminated a decaying and ununited Poland from the map.
Leader of the Mitnagdim and thus an opponent to Hasidism. The Hassidic movement founded by Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov instituted a number of changes to standard Jewish practices/traditions. Among such leaders, the Gaon would view Hassidic Judiac culture as an attempt to breakaway from "true" Judaism which worried traditional orthodox religious leaders. The Gaon is widely recognzed as the leading torah authority of his time producing varied writings on all Torah subjects.
Student of Gaon of Vilna. Inspired by his teachings, he founded the Yeshiva of Volozhyn (began with 10 students, eventually saw his academy...). He opposed the mysticism of the Hasidim, like another Mitnagdims, as a substitute for piety/learning.
Secular (language) vernacular fo the Jews understood only by them and not outsiders. Important because it made it easy for them to isolate themselves from the outside world, but maintain a cohesiveness between themselves that allowed them to flourish within their own communities.
Yiddish as a form of expression, outside the rhelm of its mere utility began with the institution of ghettos by the (czarist?) govt.
Important Yiddish author. His father held a captivating interest in the Haskalah movement and thus Sholem contributed a number of Hebrew writings throughout his career for the purview of Maskilim. as Hebrew was the language of scholarly/high culture/sophistication vs. Yiddish. But Sholem liked Yiddish and
Originally produced in Russia in the late 19th-C, likely by Russian Secret Police, the exact origin of the Protocols is unknown. Its intent was to portray Jews as conspirators against the state. In 24 chapters, or protocols, allegedly minutes from meetings of Jewish leaders, the Protocols "describes" the "secret plans" of Jews to rule the world by manipulating the economy, controlling the media, and fostering religious conflict. It's use was garnered as a tool/political weapon to blame the
I. B. Singer
Polish-Jew, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978. His writing reflect his obsession with religion and sex. A famous work of his, In my Father's Court, acts somewhat like a memoir as he reflects upon his own past.
I. B. Singer: The Sacrifice
Rumor breaks out in Warsaw that the elderly couple down the street-constantly showing public affection are to be divorced. Apparently, the woman, old, frail and nearing death was willing to divorce her husband as to give him another chance at contribution to the society with another marriage to a young, fertile woman. The first issue is public displays of affection in a society that is not supposed to recognize the other sex. The second issue is in their feelings. True love existed between
Mother is disgusted because you are not supposed to show love publically. Married couples essentially don't even address one another in public. Marriage in Judaism is a contract. If you love someone, that creates a problem/potential problem of breaking the contract. Consider divorce: excommunicated and declared "dead".
A woman comes to see the Rabbi because she bought two geese and they continued to shriek after properly slaughtered. Singer's parents, were witness to the event. While his father reasons that the Geese's cries are a sign of the Creator's existance, his mother proves them all wrong by pointing out that the woman had not removed the windpipes of the birds. Here, logical reasoning trumped religious explanation-the existence of a divine Creator. Not only do you have a struggle between religion and
I. B. Singer: A Broken Engagement
An engaged couple goes to see the Rabbi because the man wishes for a breaking of the engagement. He does not "love" the woman despite her inconvincing claims that she does love him. He believes she is after his money and only that. Thus, the rabbi is called to attempt to mend the situation. What is important to take from this story is that traditional Judaic marriages were not a function of love. Marriage was a family business acting as a means to enrich both sides involved.
A man approaches the Rabbi on Sabbath night asking if it was okay for him to sleep next to his dead wife. Apparently impoverished, as evidence by his having only 1 bed and no fees to pay for burial, the Rabbi gave the poor man $. This evidences that the best time to ask the church for $ is after the Sabbath.
Retold the story of the family's washwoman. She was always prompt and did her work well. She was portrayed as very strong and hard working-while most women her age were frail, she was hauling enormous bags of laundry. This woman, had a son-essentially a gentile-who was ashamed of her and never came to see her. It's hard to believe because she was such an honorable woman who never let a task go un-finished. But her being abadoned by the son shows just how real and separate the lives were between
I. B. Singer: The Wash Woman (con't)
Recants mini-summaries of different people of the family. This shows that family memory and memory of the Jewish family is very important. Geneology among one's skill set was something to be had. It acts as a reflection, showing traditional Hasidic families and the oddities intertwined with their lives.
A Rabbi had opened a Yeshiva with no one to teach. Apparently, the position went to Singer's father. Showing that the way to get a position after marriage and yeshiva are exhausted, look to war and connections.
Clothes are hard to come by. The family was certainly not rich, but they could eat. Food was cheap and they didnt consume much. But clothing/shoes were expensive and had to be closely taken care of to last a number of years. The family struck luck when a tailor offered to clothe SInger on credit! Nice clothes were simply unaffordable. Normally to get nice clothes, hametz was instituted. In which ppl sell things during passover that they cant have in the house. With this opportunity, Singer had
Singer recants a ongoing struggle between his parents and his brother Israel Joshua over innumerable issues. The older brother argued with his parents about what Isaac should/would do with his life. Israel argues with their mother about Jew-Gentile relationships, Communism vs. Socialism and the presence of revolution vs. peace. Ultimately, this story shows the stark divide in the communities of peoples and brings up the reason for revolution--its functioning as a eliminationist ideology.
Singer gives a description of his Uncle Mendel. He was a rich man from a wealthy family, but often dressed as a pauper except when visiting the city. Describes the preference of minimalism, avoiding extravagence and disregarding the material world/wordly vanity.
Singer tells his story and experience with the heder. The heder was the school. Primarily a middle school in which one stayed the entire day, learned by memorization and could incur sever beatings. He started to fight with his friends, but somehow a text from his brother, Crime and Punishment, made him immune to such menial things. Essentially the story implies that one learned language by reading the book and this described the daily life of a Jewish child.
I. B. Singer: At Sarajevo
Singer's brother lives in a studio and he goes to visit him. Now a painter, Singer becomes uneasy at the sight of his brother's work. It was bizarre to see a naked person-especially as a model for a painting. The body is considered something to be hidden and kept private in Judaism..this experience drives this idea home and insinuates that nakedness envelops an inclination to sin.
When typhus was spreading like wild-fire in 1916, doctors were mandated to report all cases to the police so that houses were sprayed and any infected family members could be disinfected. Singer and his mother allowed themselves to be taken away. As part of the disinfecting, Isaac had his side-locks cut off and had to strip in front of a woman. The break with the side-locks was symbolic as well as the new clothing he was given. Afterwards he could not recognize himself proving that dress is a
I. B. Singer: The Book (con't)
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