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The First Modern JewSpinoza and the History of an Image$
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Daniel B. Schwartz

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691142913

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691142913.001.0001

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A Rebel against the Past, A Revealer of Secrets

A Rebel against the Past, A Revealer of Secrets

Salomon Rubin and the East European Maskilic Spinoza

(p.81) Chapter 4 A Rebel against the Past, A Revealer of Secrets
The First Modern Jew

Daniel B. Schwartz

Princeton University Press

This chapter traces the migration of Spinoza's Jewish reception eastward into the Hebrew Enlightenment of Central and Eastern Europe, concentrating on the writings of the Galician-born maskil (or Jewish enlightener) Salomon Rubin (1823–1910), the most zealous champion of Spinoza in nineteenth-century Hebrew letters and the first to translate the Ethics (1677) into Hebrew. It shows how, for all his emphasis on the trailblazing nature of Spinoza, Rubin also portrays the heretic as the offspring of an esoteric legacy of speculation embedded within Jewish thought. Rubin's Spinoza reveals tensions between a rebel against Jewish tradition and a revealer of its secrets.

Keywords:   Hebrew Enlightenment, Salomon Rubin, Jewish thought, Spinoza, maskil

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