History of the Jews - Vol. 5

By Heinrich Graetz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVL
AWAKENING OF INDEPENDENCE AND THE SCIENCE OF
JUDAISM.

Dawn of Self-respect--Research into Jewish History--Hannah Adams --Solomon Lowisohn--Jost--His History--The Revolution of July (1830)--Gabriel Riesser--His Lectures--Steinheim--HIS Works--His "Revelation"--Nachman Krochmal--Rapoport-- Erter--His Poems--Rapoport's Writings--Zunz--Luzzatto--His Exegesis--Geiger--The "Nineteen Letters" of Ben Usiel--New School of Reform--Joel Jacoby.

1830-1840 C. E.

IF for a moment fancy is allowed full play, one can imagine, not only that the houses, utensils, and pictures excavated from the ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii were renewed, but also that the entombed men were suddenly aroused from their sleep of centuries, and enabled to collect their thoughts. If these resurrected Romans could recall their condition when the catastrophe befell them, could conjure up before their mind's eye the splendor of their greatness, remember the mighty institutions which they and their ancestors called into existence, realize the heroic power which the Roman people developed, and if they felt the same power still stirring within them, a not altogether unjustifiable self-esteem would seize them. This supposition is no fantastic idea: a nation actually did arise from the darkness of the tomb, the only example chronicled in the annals of man. This resuscitated people, the Jewish race, endeavored at its resurrection to collect its thoughts and memories, and recall a vision of its glorious past; feeling itself to be at once old and young, rich in memories and lacking in experience, chained to hoary antiquity by a perfect sequence of events, yet seeming

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