With the Age of Enlightenment in Europe and the emancipation of Western Europe's Jewish populations, Jews at last held a place within society and could integrate within the life of a modern Western nation. Nominally a blessing, emancipation yet brought with it the seeds of a major crisis in the history of Judaism. From the perspective of an age of reason, Jews reexamined their traditional religious beliefs and practices. For many, ancient traditions could no longer serve as suitable guides to action in the contemporary environment. To meet the crisis, the Jewish community was radically altered, as was the synagogue. In the sphere of religion, Dr. Blau describes the adjustments that Judaism has [Read more...]
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