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Languages of CommunityThe Jewish Experience in the Czech Lands$
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Hillel Kieval

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520214101

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520214101.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 20 October 2019

Jan Hus and the Prophets

Jan Hus and the Prophets

Fashioning a Czech Judaism at the Turn of the Century

(p.159) chapter 7 Jan Hus and the Prophets
Languages of Community

Hillel J. Kieval

University of California Press

This chapter examines the movement among Czech-Jewish intellectuals to effect a religious reform that was inspired, to a large extent, by Czech philosophical currents. It notes that the most remarkable aspect of the Czech-Jewish religious reforms of the 1880s may have been their superficiality. It observes that the activists within the SČAŽ and Or-Tomid seem to have been content merely to tinker with the linguistic forms of public worship and ritual. It notes that once Judaism had acquired a “Czech face”, as it were, they considered their job to have been completed. It argues on the other hand, that the superficiality of early Czech-Jewish reform was born of optimism. It observes that Czech Jews saw nothing in the content of their religious culture that would stand in the way of their swift integration into modern Czech society.

Keywords:   Czech-Jewish intellectuals, philosophical currents, religious reforms, superficiality, SČAŽ, Or-Tomid, Judaism

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