By Jeffrey Veidlinger
In the midst of the violent, progressive turmoil that observed the decade of tsarist rule within the Russian Empire, many Jews got here to reject what they considered as the apocalyptic and utopian prophecies of political dreamers and spiritual fans, who prefer as a substitute to target the promoting of cultural improvement within the current. Jewish Public tradition within the overdue Russian Empire examines the cultural identities that Jews have been growing and disseminating via voluntary institutions similar to libraries, drama circles, literary golf equipment, old societies, or even hearth brigades. Jeffrey Veidlinger explores the venues within which well-liked cultural figures—including Sholem Aleichem, Mendele Moykher Sforim, and Simon Dubnov—interacted with the overall Jewish public, encouraging Jewish expression inside of Russia's multicultural society. by way of highlighting the cultural studies shared by means of Jews of numerous social backgrounds—from seamstresses to parliamentarians—and in disparate geographic locales—from Ukrainian shtetls to shine metropolises—the ebook revises conventional perspectives of Jewish society within the past due Russian Empire.(2009)
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In his “Letters on Old and New Judaism,” Simon Dubnow called upon Jews to demand both individual civil rights and collective national rights in their countries of residence. As Dubnow explained, the Jews do not require territorial sovereignty, either in Palestine or in the Diaspora. Their national identity, based on spiritual and cultural affinities, is of a higher type than that of nations whose identities rely upon territorial possession. “Political or territorial independence of the Jews in every country, as we have seen, is impossible,” he wrote.
After the first two boys, others also so idealistically inclined came. Soon they formed a peculiar club of six or seven. They usually assembled at my place Fridays Libraries 27 late at night when the town slept soundly: the visits were so furtive and conspiratorial, the discussion conducted so quietly, that for the several months I was in the town no one learned of these meetings. ”12 The autobiography of the maskil Mosheh Leib Lilienblum, Sins of Youth, became such a formative text in both An-sky’s life and the lives of those in his circle that he borrowed its title for his own autobiography.
The Duma’s newfound demands for equal rights resonated within Jewish society. The era of hope, however, was short lived. 43 The Second Duma, convened in March 1907, was a great disappointment to the Jewish population. Despite its more left-leaning composition owing to the participation of the radical parties, it counted only four Jewish deputies among its members and showed even less sympathy toward the cause of Jewish emancipation. It too was unable to work within the confines the tsar established, so in a coup d’etat in June 1907, Nicholas disbanded 20 Jewish Public Culture in the Late Russian Empire the Second Duma as well.
Jewish Public Culture in the Late Russian Empire by Jeffrey Veidlinger