“The Captivating Beauty of the Divine Spark: Breslau and the Reception of Yehuda Halevi's Sefer Kuzari (1877–1911)

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Abstract

The article follows the reception of the philosophy of Yehudah Halevi (1075–-1141) within the Breslau school of Jewish thought during the second half of the nineteenth century. Special focus is given to the discussion of Halevi in the writings of David Kaufmann and Julius Guttmann. Both scholars admire Halevi's Sefer haKuzari because they discovered a certain analogy between his medieval project of an intellectual apology of Judaism and their own endeavors in Breslau to philosophically justify the existence of Judaism in modernity. In their point of view, Halevi has achieved his results, however, without forcing the wealth of traditional Jewish teachings into an artifi cial system of thought, as did Maimonides after him. Thus, Halevi became for the Breslau scholars a personal example of Jewish integrity, combining faithful adherence to Judaism with intellectual penetration of its doctrines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-34
JournalTransversal – Journal for Jewish Studies
Volume14
Issue number(1)
StatePublished - 2016

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