Press "Enter" to skip to content

Haskalah and Reform

For those stronger in Jewish history – I am still trying to understand how the maskilim could justify that halakha no longer had to be followed? I understand there was a lot of disillusionment post Shabbatai Tzvi and fast forward to emancipation, there was a great need/ desire to fit in with enlightenment Europe.

From Jewish Virtual Library:

The maskilim encouraged a switch in Jewish professions. Jews moved from commercial jobs such as money lending and trade to more skilled jobs such as crafts and agriculture. The maskilim thought this would improve both the character and the position of Jews in society. Some German schools taught their students crafts, and then found the boys apprenticeships with Christian craftsman.

Historically, Jews are no strangers to being craftsmen or working in agriculture. Heck, tractate Shabbat 31 is all about faith and agriculture.

And from Pirke Avot 2:2

Rabban Gamaliel the son of Rabbi Judah the Prince said: Great is study of the Torah when combined with a worldly occupation, for toil in them both puts sin out of mind. All study of the Torah which is not supplemented by work is destined to prove futile and causes sin. Let all who occupy themselves with communal affairs do so for Heaven’s sake, for then the merit of their fathers sustains them and their righteousness endures forever. And as for you, God will then say: I count you worthy of great reward as if you had done it all yourselves.

It seeme like the maskilim had plenty to draw from in order to forge a strong Jewish identity that adhered to halakha while also integrating into 18th century Europe. But it doesnt sound like they drew from sources to justify their new way of living.

Maybe someone more learned on the subject can help me understand better.

submitted by /u/vagabond17
[link] [comments]
Source: Reditt