In the 1860s, Jewish health reformers began to produce popular medical advice works written in Hebrew or Yiddish, for the benefit of East European Jewry. An examination of this literature reveals the interweaving of a general Haskalah, Jewish Enlightenment, agenda with specific health concerns. The authors of these works saw Haskalah as a cure for the larger spiritual and political malaise of the Jewish people. Promoting a scientifically based approach to health care, they believed attention to public health to be a vital element in the reform and improvement of the East European Jewish populace. Placing these popular medical advice works in the context of changes occurring on various ideological fronts within the Jewish community, this paper analyzes this body of literature to expose the dimensions of its larger, reforming agenda and the tactics of persuasion employed by its authors in their efforts to win "converts" to their vision of a healthy, hygienic, enlightened Jewish population.


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pp. 1-19
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