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Book Reviews 165 country and in Israel. There the religious right, both Hasidic and nonHasidic , have also adopted a political stance which is illiberal and fraught with messianic a-historic expectations. While one may see the Holocaust as a factor in shaping the religious and political behavior ofJews today, it maywell be a minor and receding factor. The "dilemmas in modernJewish thought" may be most acute for non-onhodox Jews and those who no longer live in two worlds, in time and in eternity. Leo Strauss was such a Jew, and Morgan is panicularly good in teasing out the philosophical and personal grounds of his critique of modernity, confronting Spinoza, Mendelssohn, and others in the process. Morgan accepts Strauss's dichotomy ofAthens and Jerusalem, reason and faith, but believes that the Holocaust and the state of Israel have forged a valid synthesis of both. He thereby underestimates Strauss's profound agnosticism and distrust of the modern liberal state, even in Zion. This book thus offers a broad critique of a number of modern Jewish philosophies, and a valiant defense ofone which purpons to transcend the anguish and despair of the Holocaust, proposing it as a guide to liberal Jewish life today. It is not insignificant, however, that there is but one contemporary ethical dilemma, abonion, which Morgan discusses (p. 91). The issues of contemporary life, and the half century which has passed since the Holocaust, may well have conspired to put a problematic philosophy behind us. Alfred 1. Ivry Skirball Depanment of Hebrew and Judaic Studies New York University Leo BaeckInstitute Yearbook: Experience and Identity, VolumeXXXIX. London: Seeker & Warburg, 1994. 484 pp. £27.00. Sixteen contributors from seven different countries wrote anicles for the thirty-founh volume of the Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook. The Yearbook remains the most influential and interdisciplinary of the sources on GermanJewish History. This edition contains sections on "Identity and Emancipation," "Jewish Responses to· National Socialism," "Jews in Welfare," "Emigration," and "Gender and History." In addition, a memoir by a German-Jewish youth leader concludes the tome. It is always a difficult task to review such a wealth ofwide-ranging material tied together loosely by the theme of experience and identity. This volume includes 166 SHOFAR Winter 1996 Vol. 14, No.2 different ways in which German Jews attempted to integrate into the society, from Heidi Thomann Tewarson's piece on identity in the correspondence between Rachel Varnhagen and her brother, to David Meyer's analysis of Eugen Tiiubler's effort to write history and cope with life under the Nazis. This volume, like so many of its predecessors, not only offers a glimpse of a creative, if somewhat confused, community trying to assimilate without losing its separate identity, but it also provides a broader framework that makes it relevant to many minority groups that struggle with the same dilemma. Recently, excellent research has begun to probe the special situation of German Jewish women. In this collection, Katharina von Kellenbach offers a fascinating sketch of Regina Jonas, the first female rabbi, who was later murdered at Auschwitz in 1944. After sufferiJig through the formidable obstacles of trying to become a female rabbi, Jonas finally received her certificate in 1935, ironically the same year in which Jews lost their German citizenship. Jonas, however, discovered that her ordination did not end the prejudice from her own community, as throughout 1936 she was not hired by any congregation, while some prominent theologians called for Jonas to return her rabbinic diploma. Kellenbach compares this discrimination to the similar situation of Protestant women trying to earn ordination. Ironically, despite never being officially installed,Jonas's duties as a rabbi expanded because of Nazi persecution. She taught at public and Jewish schools and occasionallygave sermons. Although Kellenbach's piece is brief and does not elaborate on the rabbi's attitude on Zionism, Nazism, and Judaism, the experience and identity ofJonas serve as yet another of the wonderful examples of the opportunities and limitations within and outside the German Jewish community. A more eclectic theme is taken up by Rochelle Saidel and Guilherme Plonski, who point out the achievements brought by German refugees to scientific development in Brazil. It is well known that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 165-167
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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