Essay about Early Modern Jewish History

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Early modern Jewish history is filled with depth and knowledge that captivated and cultivated the religion into what it would become. An important part of the history were the ideologies and philosophies of Moses Mendelssohn. Considered the first modern Jewish philosopher and a shaper of Judaism, Mendelssohn was the start of what would become the Jewish Enlightenment. Being the first person to translate the Bible from Hebrew to German, he opened up the door for Jews to rediscover and enhance their knowledge. A writer and philosopher, several of Mendelssohn's writings were highly successful and considered a herald to a new way of thinking. While many of his writings received praise from people of different parts, critiques arose, including…show more content…
A main goal that Mendelssohn hoped to accomplish was to end discrimination and establish human equality. Mendelssohn initiated the next challenge that occurred between him and another colleague, Christian Wilhelm von Dohm. Prompted my Mendelssohn, he believed that Jews should be given the same rights as all the other citizens and Jews should be given the right to better themselves. Dohm's belief of the Jewish religion included the right of synagogues to excommunicate any members. Mendelssohn beliefs were different from Dohm, as he believed that religion is not a matter in which state authorities should interfere with and that people have the right to believe in what they want to. As stated in his response to Dohm, “But a quiet and inoffensive attendance at a meeting may not be forbidden even to an offender, unless we purposely want to bar him from every road to reformation. The doors of the house of rational devotion require neither bars nor bolts. “1 To Mendelssohn, excommunication is not the matter in which any situation should be dealt with, as it is an obstruction and simply ending a road that any person may use to enlighten and better himself. The state should not have any say in religion, and should not abuse any power in any religion. By handing over this power, there is an imminent chance of abuse and danger. Not only did Mendelssohn have to reason with Dohm, but he would have to reason with an anonymous writer who in

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