Judaism

Judaism

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Judaism by Israel Abrahams

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59

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Judaism

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The writer has attempted in this volume to take up a few of the most characteristic points in Jewish doctrine and practice, and to explain some of the various phases through which they have passed, since the first centuries of the Christian era.

Book Excerpt

e was promptly rejected. The chief modern problem in Jewish life is just this: To what extent, and in what manner, can Judaism still place itself under the reign of Law?

But for many centuries, certainly up to the French Revolution, Religion as Law was the dominant conception in Judaism. Before examining the validity of this conception a word is necessary as to the mode in which it expressed itself. Conduct, social and individual, moral and ritual, was regulated in the minutest details. As the Dayan M. Hyamson has said, the maxim De minimis non curat lex was not applicable to the Jewish Law. This Law was a system of opinion and of practice and of feeling in which the great principles of morality, the deepest concerns of spiritual religion, the genuinely essential requirements of ritual, all found a prominent place. To assert that Pharisaism included the small and excluded the great, that it enforced rules and forgot principles, that it exalted the letter and neglected the spirit, is a palpable lib