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Schreiben an Lavater, Moses Mendelssohn, Berlin 1892

מכתב להכהן לאואטר - Only Edition - Reform

Listing Image
  • Lot Number 50986
  • Title (English) Schreiben an Lavater
  • Title (Hebrew) מכתב להכהן לאואטר
  • Note Only Edition - Reform
  • Author Moses Mendelssohn
  • City Berlin
  • Publisher H. Itzkowski
  • Publication Date 1892
  • Estimated Price - Low 300
  • Estimated Price - High 600

  • Item # 1814921
  • End Date
  • Start Date

Physical Description:

Only edition. 22, [1] pp., 200:128 mm., nice margins, light age staining. A very good copy bound in the original wrappers.


Detailed Description:   

Contains Mendelssohn’s reply to Johann Lavater, published as part of the famous controversy between the two. Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786) achieved fame and distinction as the father of the Jewish Haskalah or Enlightenment, which entailed reconciling the Jewish religion with the broad universalist principles of the European Enlightenment. Mendelssohn pioneered Jewish engagement in non-Jewish intellectual life in Germany, embracing the philosophical project begun by Leibniz and developed thereafter by Christian Wolff. Mendelssohn remained faithful to Orthodox Judaism, but challenged Jewish traditionalism by translating the Pentateuch into German and by generally advocating the adoption of the High German language and other forms of acculturation into German society. After the Swiss clergyman Johann Caspar Lavater (1741-1801) challenged him to convert to Christianity, he penned the following reply, which silenced Lavater and earned Mendelssohn much respect among Enlightenment intellectuals. Noteworthy are Mendelssohn’s very pointed formulation of the disadvantages faced by Jews in Christian society and his measured praise for the degree of toleration enjoyed by the small Jewish community in Frederick II’s Prussia.

Translated into Hebrew by Hertz Wessely fron the original German, Schreiben an der Herrn Diakonus Lavater zu Zuerich, Berlin 1770 .

Add. t.p.: Schreiben an Lavater von Moses Mendelssohn. Aus dem Deutschen in Hebraeische uebertragen und mit einem Commentar versehen, von Naphtali Hartwig Wessely. Zum ersten Male nach einen Handschrift... herausgegeben... von Salomon Fuchs...


Hebrew Description:

מאת... ר' משה בן-מנחם ז"ל. נעתק מלשון אשכנז לשפת עבר ונלוה אליו פירוש, מאת... ר' נפתלי הירץ וויזל ז"ל [!]. יצא לאור פעם ראשונה ע"פ כ"י רשזח"ה [ר' שלמה זלמן חיים האלברשטאם], עם מבוא והערות, מאת יצחק שלמה פוכס...

התרגום והפירוש הם של ר' מאיר ב"ר יהודה ליב מליסה והמוציא לאור ייחסם בטעות לנפתלי הירץ וויזל. עיין: יוסף קלוזנר, היסטוריה של הספרות העברית החדשה, א, עמ' 59.



Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000300683; http://ghdi.ghi-dc.org