The Vilna Gaon and Haskalah

Immanuel Etkes

in The Gaon of Vilna

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780520223943
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925076 | DOI:
The Vilna Gaon and Haskalah

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This chapter deals with the myth of the Vilna Gaon as a maskil among both proponents and opponents of Haskalah. It traces this myth as reflected in the historiography of the Haskalah movement and shows that the matter of the Gaon and Haskalah is an instructive example of the continuity between Haskalah literature of the nineteenth century and Jewish historiography of the end of that century and the first half of the next. It discusses the image of the Vilna Gaon as a maskil as a weapon in the hands of Orthodox Judaism and evaluates the influence of the Vilna Gaon on the growth of the Haskalah movement in Lithuania.

Keywords: Vilna Gaon; maskil; Haskalah movement; Jewish historiography; Orthodox Judaism; Lithuania

Chapter.  13285 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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