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Rabbi Dessler’s View of Secular Studies and Wissenschaft des Judentums

  • Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler (1892–1953) is often portrayed as antagonistic to secular studies. However, his writings show more of an intellectual hierarchy that places Torah wisdom at the top and all other wisdom a distant second. R. Dessler expended great effort promoting Torah scholarship while generally refraining from disparaging secular studies. Looking at the writings of his predecessors in the Mussar (moralist) movement, one can see that there was no disapproval of worldly education there, either: In fact, R. Dessler and his predecessors were well-educated in many secular disciplines. This essay looks to places R. Dessler’s attitude toward Wissenschaft des Judentums within the context of his life’s mission to advance talmudic study and his consequent unwillingness to countenance anything that detracted from furthering the learning of Torah. I argue that, whereas his extreme opposition to Wissenschaft was the result of his aversion to its aims, methods and conclusions, his nuanced relationship to Orthodox Wissenschaft was theRabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler (1892–1953) is often portrayed as antagonistic to secular studies. However, his writings show more of an intellectual hierarchy that places Torah wisdom at the top and all other wisdom a distant second. R. Dessler expended great effort promoting Torah scholarship while generally refraining from disparaging secular studies. Looking at the writings of his predecessors in the Mussar (moralist) movement, one can see that there was no disapproval of worldly education there, either: In fact, R. Dessler and his predecessors were well-educated in many secular disciplines. This essay looks to places R. Dessler’s attitude toward Wissenschaft des Judentums within the context of his life’s mission to advance talmudic study and his consequent unwillingness to countenance anything that detracted from furthering the learning of Torah. I argue that, whereas his extreme opposition to Wissenschaft was the result of his aversion to its aims, methods and conclusions, his nuanced relationship to Orthodox Wissenschaft was the result of the hierarchy through which he viewed secular as opposed to talmudic study.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Esther Solomon
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-417810
Parent Title (German):PaRDES : Zeitschrift der Vereinigung für Jüdische Studien e. V.
Publisher:Universitätsverlag Potsdam
Place of publication:Potsdam
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2018/10/01
Year of Completion:2018
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Publishing Institution:Universitätsverlag Potsdam
Release Date:2018/10/11
First Page:103
Last Page:124
RVK - Regensburg Classification:BD 1680
Organizational units:Extern / Vereinigung für Jüdische Studien e. V.
Dewey Decimal Classification:2 Religion / 20 Religion / 200 Religion
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Universitätsverlag Potsdam
Collections:Universität Potsdam / Zeitschriften / PaRDeS : Zeitschrift der Vereinigung für Jüdische Studien e.V., ISSN 1862-7684 / PaRDeS (2018) 24 / Articles
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht