For Whom Do I Toil?: Judah Leib Gordon and the Crisis of Russian Jewry

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byMichael Stanislawski

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This is the first full-length biography of Judah Leib Gordon (1830-92), the most important Hebrew poet of the 19th century, and one of the pivotal intellectual and cultural figures in Russian Jewry. Setting Gordon's life and work amidst the political, cultural, and religious upheavals of hissociety, Stanislawski attempts to counter traditional stereotypical readings of Eastern European Jewish history. As a prominent and passionate exponent of the Jewish Enlightenment in Russia, Gordon advocated a humanist and liberal approach to all the major questions facing Jews in their tortuoustransition to modernity--the religious reform of Judaism, the attractions and limits of political liberalism, the relations between Jews and Gentiles, the nature of modern anti-Semitism, the status of women in Jewish life, the possibility of a secular Jewish culture, the nature of Zionism, and therelations between Jews in the Diaspora and the Jewish community in the Land of Israel. His personal story is a fascinating drama that both symbolizes and summarizes the cultural and political challenges facing Russian Jewry at a crucial time in its history, challenges that remain pertinent andcontroversial today.

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This is the first full-length biography of Judah Leib Gordon (1830-92), the most important Hebrew poet of the 19th century, and one of the pivotal intellectual and cultural figures in Russian Jewry. Setting Gordon's life and work amidst the political, cultural, and religious upheavals of hissociety, Stanislawski attempts to counter tr...

Michael Stanislawski is a Professor of Jewish History at Columbia University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:278 pages, 9.49 × 6.5 × 0.98 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195042905

ISBN - 13:9780195042900

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"Of major significance for it is the first sustained study in any language of the life of Judah Leib Gordon....Through a masterly reconstruction of Gordon's life Stanislawski provides us with a detailed insight and hitherto unexplored approach to a whole chapter in both Jewish and Russianhistory."--Soviet Jewish Affairs