Jewish Brothers in Conflict
Item #: S935
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The nineteenth century was a time of turmoil and enormous change in the Jewish world. The current Jewish world reflects those changes and the movements in the Jewish people that were created in that century. Rabbi Berel Wein explores with us the social, political, physical and religious upheavals that characterize the nineteenth century Jewish world. Anyone who wishes a clearer understanding of the controversies and movements within the Jewish world today will benefit enormously from the information and insights presented in this tape series. Secularism, Zionism, Immigration, etc. are all presented against the backdrop of the disintegrating old Jewish shtetl life in Europe. Understand today by knowing about yesterday.
Chassidus & the Jewish Establishment - Chassidus was the greatest revolution within the context of Jewish Law. The establishment favored the wealthy and learned over the ordinary working man, but the Baal Shem Tov, with his emphasis on prayer and joy, made it possible for every Jew to feel he was a servant of God. Rabbi Wein brings the contentions of both groups to life and shows how Chassidus permanently changed the face of the Jewish world.
Mussar and the Rabbinate - The Reform movement aimed to reform Judaism, but when Rabbi Yisroel Salanter founded the mussar movement, his aim was to reform Jews. His methods of self-improvement swept the yeshiva world, and when listeners hear Rabbi Wein read the impressions of a Slobodka yeshiva student to a Yom Kippur mussar shmooze, they are sure to be inspired.
Secular Haskala - The Age of Enlightenment toppled the authority of the Church, and the haskala did the same in the Jewish world. Promoting itself as the solution to anti-Semitism, the haskala advocated destruction of the old customs and the adoption of a new secular culture. This created a disastrous rift between religious and secular Jews that continues to play itself out in the current generation and in the modern State of Israel.
Religious Haskala - The secular haskala aimed to make Jews compatible with the modern world, but to religious Jews, its methods were cultural suicide. Though many religious Jews simply ignored the haskala, others felt a need to respond. Rabbi Wein chronicles the accomplishments of
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Rabbi Ezriel Hildesheimer and their "religious haskala," showing how the view of “Torah im derech eretz,” in spite of the opposition it faced, endures in Jewish world today.
Socialism, the Bund, and Radicalism - Unlike the haskala, which sought to create "a new Jew," socialism and radicalism proposed to solve the Jews' problems by solving the world's problems. With pogroms occurring with greater frequency, tens of thousands of Jews embraced radical ideologies and abandoned Judaism completely. These ideologies infiltrated the Zionist movement, creating the institution of kibbutz and rendering the modern state of Israel into a melting pot of contradictions.