By Ken Koltun-Fromm
German rabbi, student, and theologian Abraham Geiger (1810--1874) is famous because the significant chief of the Reform circulation in German Judaism. In his new paintings, Ken Koltun-Fromm argues that for Geiger own which means in faith -- instead of rote ritual perform or reputation of dogma -- used to be the most important to religion's ethical authority. In 5 chapters, the booklet explores concerns primary to Geiger's paintings that talk to modern Jewish perform -- old reminiscence, biblical interpretation, ritual and gender practices, rabbinic authority, and Jewish schooling. this is often crucial studying for students, rabbis, rabbinical scholars, and expert Jewish readers drawn to Conservative and Reform Judaism.Published with the beneficiant aid of the Lucius N. Littauer starting place.
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Additional resources for Abraham Geiger's Liberal Judaism: Personal Meaning And Religious Authority (Jewish Literature and Culture)
But Geiger knew well that German Jewish communities were far more diverse than his enticing “we” suggests. Some members of his Breslau community, for example, were well educated in Jewish texts and interpretations, ®uent in Hebrew, and comfortable with the traditional Hebrew liturgy. ”121 In composing his prayer books, Geiger thus recognized how “nowadays a prayer book must make provision for the great number” of Jews unlearned in classical sources and the Hebrew language. The diversity in readership helps explain Geiger’s use of Hebrew and German in his two edited prayer books.
110 Geiger despised prayers that turned worship into a “sacri¤cial service” (Opferdienste). ”112 The most powerful memory of human and animal sacri¤ce in Jewish liturgy recalled Abraham’s trial with his son Isaac. Geiger’s attacks against liturgical representations of the Akedah border on the hysterical. But they also reveal his passionate insistence that some memories damage Jewish religion and identity. 113 Abraham’s greatness lies in his rejection of sacri¤cial worship. The story of the Akedah shows us how Abraham’s “pure faith” overcomes sacri¤cial duty, and thus Abraham begins the Jewish “world historical mission”: “This story [of Abraham and Isaac] is and remains for us a con¤rmation of the fundamental truth of all Judaism: for the abhorrence of every human sacri¤ce, and for removing every thought that God demands such sacri¤ce.
The focus now lay squarely on how one tells that story. The new emphasis on historical critique also clari¤es the explosive impact of Bruno Bauer’s essay, “The Jewish Question,”19 on historians like Geiger. Bauer’s essay appeared in a series of installments in Deutsche Jahrbücher für Wissenschaft und Kunst in 1842,20 a liberal journal that Geiger, for one, held in high regard. 22 The force of Bauer’s article, in this anxious climate, remains twofold. Bauer was a respected and noted liberal scholar who, as Hegel’s student, pioneered a more radical (left) Hegelian approach to religious studies.