Moses Mendelssohn’s Hebrew Writings Moses Mendelssohn, Edward Breuer, David Sorkin

Yale Judaica Series
Publication date:
10 Jul 2018
Yale University Press
544 pages: 235 x 156mm

The first annotated English translation of the Hebrew writings of the great eighteenth-century Berlin philosopher

German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786) was one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers. While many of his German works have been translated into English, the majority of his Hebrew works have been largely inaccessible. This volume of expertly translated works makes an important contribution to modern Jewish thought. Refuting the notion that Mendelssohn led a bifurcated intellectual and spiritual existence, these texts demonstrate Mendelssohn’s ability to transform traditional religious genres into vehicles for philosophical argumentation, thereby allowing for a fuller understanding of this formative figure.

Edward Breuer teaches at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he also lives. David Sorkin is the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Modern Jewish History at Yale University. He lives in New Haven, CT, and New York City.

“The scholarship is of the highest caliber. Learned and illuminating . . . . A major contribution.”—Michah Gottlieb, New York University

“The scholarship is of the highest caliber; the editors have a full command of the Mendelssohn literature . . . a major contribution.”— Michah Gottlieb,

“The translations themselves are not only much more plentiful, but, in my opinion, superior to any existing ones, whether in German or in English. This is an excellent work of scholarship.”—Charles H. Manekin, University of Maryland

“This book is a model of collaborative scholarship by two seasoned Mendelssohn scholars, a bold corrective to the still prevailing one-sided approach to the study of his work, and an invaluable resource to understanding the full complexity of his legacy.”— Ismar Schorsch, The Jewish Theological Seminary

“This book is a major boon to all readers interested in the European Enlightenment, modern Jewish history, and especially modern Jewish thought. These writings have major implications not only for scholarly debates about the nature and intentions of Mendelssohn’s philosophical and exegetical arguments but also for the deep and continually relevant question of whether religion and modernity can ultimately be reconciled.”—Leora F. Batnitzky, Princeton University