For Whom Do I Toil?

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

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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 his society, 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 tortuous transition 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 the relations 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 and controversial more

Product details

  • Hardback | 274 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 19.1mm | 589.68g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 6 halftones, 4 facsimiles
  • 0195042905
  • 9780195042900

Review quote

'This book is 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 Russian history.' Soviet Jewish Affairs, Vol 20 No 1 '90 'elegant and thoroughly scholarly study of Gordon - the first full-scale biography to be written ... Stanislawski's book provides a definitive exposition of the subject' L'Eylan 'fine book' Lloyd P. Gartner, Journal of Jewish Sociologyshow more

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