By Jonathan Frankel

The 7th quantity of the acclaimed annual ebook of the Institute of latest Jewry on the Hebrew collage of Jerusalem, Jews and Messianism within the glossy period: Metaphor and that means examines the importance and which means of messianic metaphors, topics, and beliefs in glossy Jewish background and tradition. as well as the normal symposia, e-book studies, and lists of modern dissertations in Jewish stories, the amount contains contributions from such famous students of Jewish heritage as Jody Elizabeth Myerson at the messianic proposal and Zionist ideologies; Aviezer Ravitsky on Zionism and the kingdom of Israel as anti-messianic undertakings; Yaacov Shavit on realism and messianism in Zionism and the Yishuv; Hannan Hever on poetry and messianism in Palestine among the 2 international wars; Paul Mendes-Flohr on Jewish theological responses to political messianism within the Weimar Republic; and Richard Wolin on Jewish secular messianism.

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Extra info for Studies in Contemporary Jewry: Volume VII: Jews and Messianism in the Modern Era: Metaphor and Meaning (Vol 7)

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This is not to say that there was a total absence of messianic consciousness in East European Jewish society in the nineteenth century, only that, in the post-Sabbatian period, messianic language was often used in ways that tended to ease or obscure Messianic Rhetoric in The Russian Haskalah and Early Zionism 25 tensions with the gentile world rather than express them apocalyptically, and that more radical messianist positions did not elicit a widespread response, whether positive or negative. In the first instance, this thesis is applicable to Hasidism.

23 But this is not so, Smolenskin maintained, with a people that retains a healthy spirit of hope that safeguards it from the perils of complacency amid plenty and against the grievous wounds that history can visit on nations. Even under the worst conditions, a guiding hope has the capacity to galvanize a nation. " The Torah and its message of hope, he continued, had therefore been the Jews' "salvation and comfort . . "24 The two (Torah and Salvationist hope) were intertwined; the waning of one or the other had always led to a period of stagnation, disintegration or assimilation.

And they are antimessianic insofar as they challenge and reject the classical, "passive," theurgic approach to Redemption as it appears in the rabbinic tradition. Hence, they are often related to antinomian impulses and may be fairly described as heretical in and of themselves. Indeed, messianic movements in Judaism may be characterized as unorthodox attempts to choose one component of Jewish eschatology—or set of components— over another, and thus undermine or override a delicate dialectical balance that classical rabbinic Judaism has left unresolved.

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