Addressed to Jews and non-Jews alike, though aware that these two reader groups were likelyn to approach the book with very different presuppositions, Daiches sets out to define Judaism in relation to philosophy, to explain Kant’s philosophy through the superiority of halakhah, defend a biblically based Jewish interpretation of history, and champion Judaism as a religion of freedom guaranteed by halakhah (Jewish law).
Table of Contents
Preface 1. Judaism in its relation to speculative thought 2. Modern Ethics and the Mosaic law 3. The Jewish interpretation of history 4. Kant and Judaism 5. Judaism and the religion of the law 6. Progressive Judaism: An analysis 7. The truth of religion 8. The Synagogue services and the restoration of sacrifices 9. The Jewish attitude towards conversionists 10. The Jewish student and the Jewish Renaissance 11. Salomon Maimon and his relation to Judaism 12. The pronunciation of Hebrew 13. First-fruits: Israel’s New Offering Index
Born in 1880 in Vilna, Bezalel (Sally, later: Salis) Daiches was homeschooled by his father and a teacher hired to introduce him to the secular world. He then attended the Royal Grammar School in Königsberg and proceeded to read philosophy at Königsberg University. In 1887 he moved to Berlin to enrol in the Rabbiner-Seminar founded by Rabbi Esrieln Hildesheimer, while also matriculating at the University of Berlin. Daiches completed his philosophical studies in Germany in 1903 with a PhD from the University of Leipzig on Hume’s practical philosophy. The same year he emigrated to the UK to join his parents and siblings in Leeds before taking up pulpits in Hull, Hammersmith and Sunderland, moving to Edinburgh in 1919. Daiches arrived in the UK at a crucial time of Jewish immigration and heightened tension between Eastern European migrants and the established Anglo-Jewish community.