The Essay – We began with a discussion of the two dynamics that characterize Judaism in the modern world – “clarification of tradition” is a universal dynamic of religious traditions in which each generation selectively appropriates the past for its own purposes and “the urge for radical change” which characterizes Judaism, in our discussion from the sixteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century. The joining of these two dynamics was the result of the mystical system formulated and expounded by Isaac Luria. In a well-written and well- organized essay discuss the following:
Discuss what you believe are the most important elements of the Lurianic kabbalah. What made the Lurianic kabbalah so different from earlier mystical traditions? Make certain that you discuss Scholem, Magid, and Fine’s interpretations of the Lurianic kabbalah.
How are these elements articulated, manifested or responded to in three of the following:

1.In the Sabbatian and Frankist heresies of the 17th and 18th centuries, especially the doctrine of redemption through sin and moderate versus radical followers of Shabbatai Tzvi and Jacob Frank. Make certain that you include discussion of Scholem.
2. The beginnings of modern Jewish identity in the conversos and Baruch Spinoza.
3.In the major innovations of modern Hasidism and the charges leveled by mitnagdim. Be certain to include discussion of, where appropriate, the work of Idel, Roskies, Willensky, Etkes, Biale, and the “Tale of the Seven Beggers.”
4.In Moses Mendelssohn’s Jerusalem, the Reformers, Neo-Orthodoxy as represented by Samson Raphael Hirsch, the scholarship of the Wissenschaft des Judenthums. Include discussion of the reading materials from Mendelssohn, Sorkin, Hrsch, the Pittsburgh Platform and Marx.
5.In the emergence of modern Antisemitism and the beginnings of political Zionism in Pinsker and Herzl. What did modern Antisemitism argue and what were its goals? How do these two early Zionists respond to this specific hatred of Jews?

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