Hasidism and the Jewish Enlightenment: Their Confrontation in Galicia and Poland in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century

Hasidism and the Jewish Enlightenment: Their Confrontation in Galicia and Poland in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century

Hasidism and the Jewish Enlightenment: Their Confrontation in Galicia and Poland in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century

Hasidism and the Jewish Enlightenment: Their Confrontation in Galicia and Poland in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century

Excerpt

Born in Nowy Sącz (Tsandz), western Galicia, under Hapsburg rule, Raphael Mahler studied in the local yeshivah and completed the course of study of the gymnasium before attending the University of Vienna, earning his doctorate in history in 1922. He returned to the newly restored sovereign state of Poland and served as a teacher of general and Jewish history in Jewish secondary schools.

During his fifteen years in Poland, Mahler concentrated on researching the history of Polish Jewry. He was a leading member of the Seminar for Jewish History, which was founded in 1923 by his intimate friend and colleague, the martyred historian of the Warsaw Ghetto, Emanuel Ringelblum. This seminar was first established under the patronage of the Jewish Academic Home in Warsaw, the club of Jewish university students, and was later affiliated with the historical section of the YIVO Institute in Vilna. Mahler was an editor of the publications of this seminar, Der yunger historiker (The Young Historian, 1926, 1928) and Bleter far geshikhte (Historical Leaves, 1934, 1938).

Raphael Mahler combined public activity with his academic work, as did many of his contemporaries and fellow community members. He was a member of the Left Po'alei Zion Party in Poland and later in Israel became a leading member of Mapam, the left-wing Labor-Zionist party.

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