Page 188 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 51

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
bei der Feier von Moses Mendelssohns hundert-jahrigen
Geburtstage, den 12 Elul oder lOten September 1829 zu Ber­
lin ,” (Speech Delivered at the C e leb ra tion o f Moses
Mendelssohn’s 100th Birthday)
Gesammelte Schriften
II, pp.
102-115.] He wrote:
The use o f the so-called Yiddish-German dialect — now still in
swing among the lower classes in Poland and in some areas o f
Germany — has totally disappeared from public life and liter­
ature. There is not one single Jewish school in Germany in which
the Bible is not taught and drilled in a High-German translation.
Nowhere does one hear a rabbi or preacher deliver a sermon
in any other language than German. Just on that account alone,
Moses Mendelssohn must be considered a benefactor o f all
German-speaking Jews.
(Ibid., ibid.)
A further indication of Zunz’s Jewish commitment is his chap­
ter on “Erlosungsjahre” (Years of Redemption), in which he
assembled all “messianic” years predicted by various individuals
for the arrival of the Messiah.
[Gesammelte Schriften,
III, pp.
224-231.]
No less instructive and perhaps also a sign of increased tol­
erance were the Hebrew vocabularies used for polemics against:
1) The Roman Empire
[Die synagogale Poesie des Mittelalters]
(Ber­
lin, 1855), pp. 437-443; 2) The oppressive peoples,
(ibid.,
pp.
443-444); 3) The Arabs
(ibid.,
pp. 444-445); 4) The Christians
and Mohamedans
(ibid.,
pp. 445-448); and 5) The Anti-Jewish
Literature
(ibid.,
pp. 448-452), and more.
Finally, and perhaps also more important from the point of
view o f o u r in te re s t he re , is Zunz’s leng thy essay on
“Geographische Literatur der Juden von den altesten Zeiten
bis zum Jah re 1841” (The Geographical Literature of the Jews
from Ancient Times Until 1841). Essentially it is an essay on
Eretz Israel in Jewish literature, indicating the central role of
it in Jewish life and lore.
(Gesammelte Schriften,
II, pp. 264-304.)
VIEW OF ERETZ ISRAEL
Zunz
begins with the Bible and quickly moves to the Second
Commonwealth period. He dwells on some of the sages of the
Mishnah: R. Akiba, R. Ishmael and R. Yehoshua, remarking
that they knew Greek and were acquainted with Greek culture.