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Moses Mendelssohn

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Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786) In 1774 Johann Jacob Spiess, the editor of the Brandenburgische historische Mnzbelustigungen, a popular numismatic publication, asked Moses Mendelssohn to supply him with some biographical data; a coin with Mendelssohn's portrait had just been issued, and Spiess wanted to introduce him to the public. Mendelssohn, however, had doubts in regard to this undertaking: "Meine Lebensumstnde sind von so geringer Erheblichkeit, da ich Ihren Lesern keine sonderliche Unterhaltung versprechen kann; mir selbst haben sie so unwichtig geschienen, da ich nicht das Mindeste davon aufgezeichnet habe" (The circumstances of my life are of such little importance that I cannot promise your readers any special diversion; to myself they have appeared so insignificant that I have not bothered to note down the least of them). Mendelssohn proceeded, nevertheless: "Ich bin im Jahre 1729 (den 12 Ellul 5489 nach jdischer Zeitrechnung) zu Dessau geboren. Mein Vater war daselbst Schulmeister und Zehngebotschreiber, oder Sopher. Unter Rabbi Frnkel, der damals, in Dessau Oberrabbiner war, studierte ich den Talmud. Nachdem sich dieser gelehrte Rabbi, durch seinen Commentar ber den hierosolymitanischen Talmud, bei der jdischen Nation groen Ruhm erworben, ward er etwa im Jahre 1743 nach Berlin berufen, wohin ich ihm noch in demselben Jahre folgte. Allhier gewann ich durch den Umgang mit dem nachherigen Doctor der Arzneigelartheit, Herrn Aron Gumperz (der vor einigen Jahren zu Hamburg verstorben), Geschmack an den Wissenschaften, dazu ich auch von demselben einige Anleitung erhielt. Ich ward hierauf in dem Hause eines reichen Juden Informator, hernach Buchhalter, und endlich Aufseher ber desselben seidene Waaren-Manufactur, welches ich noch auf diese Stunde bin. In meinem drei und dreiigsten Jahr habe ich geheiratet, und seitdem sieben Kinder gezeugt, davon fnfe am Leben. brigens bin ich nie auf einer Universitt gewesen, habe auch in meinem Leben kein Collegium lesen

hren. Dieses war eine der grten Schwierigkeiten, die ich bernommen hatte, indem ich alles durch Anstrengung und eigenen Flei erzwingen mute. In der That trieb ich es zu weit, und habe mir endlich durch Unmigkeit im Studiren seit drei Jahren eine Nervenschwche zugezogen ..." (I was born in the year 1729 [Ellul 12, 5489 according to the Jewish calendar] in Dessau. My father was a school-teacher there and a scribe of the Ten Commandments, or Sopher. Under Rabbi Frnkel, who was the chief rabbi in Dessau at the time, I studied the Talmud. This learned rabbi gained a great reputation in the Jewish nation because of his commentary on the Jerusalem Talmud, and he was called to Berlin about 1743; I followed him in the same year. There I became acquainted with the future doctor of pharmacy, Aaron Gumpertz [who died several years ago in Hamburg], and I gained a taste of the sciences, in which he provided me some guidance. Thereafter I became a tutor in the house of a rich Jew, then his accountant, and finally overseer for his manufacture of goods, which I am to this day. I married in my thirty-third year, and I have fathered seven children, of which five are still alive. I have never, by the way, attended any university, nor did I ever hear a collegium being read. This was one of the greatest difficulties that I have taken upon me, that I have had to force everything by effort and my own diligence. Indeed, I have gone too far, and have finally, through the immoderation of my studies, contracted a weakness of the nerves...). This short tale of a self-made career and the dangers of diligence describes the life of a man who was not only a prominent Enlightenment philosopher but a founder of modern German Judaism as well. Mendelssohn was born in Dessau on 6 September 1729 to the scribe Mendel Heymann and Bela Rahel Sara. In accordance with the Jewish custom of the time his place of birth was used as his surname, so that he was known as Moses Dessau. As a youth he showed great interest and talent in religious and philosophical studies. Under the guidance of Rabbi David Frnkel, he pursued the study of the Bible and the Talmud and read

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Moses Maimonides' More nevukhim (The Guide of the Perplexed, 1190). When Frnkel left for Berlin in 1743, Mendelssohn followed him. Much has been made of Mendelssohn's entrance into the city, which has been seen as a symbolic step in the history of German Jews. Jews were only allowed to enter Berlin through special gates and were taxed like cattle. According to the legend, Mendelssohn entered the city through the Rosenthaler Gate, stating that the purpose of his stay in Berlin was to learn. Soon he would speak up for the equality of all human beings and become an important voice for Jewish emancipation. Mendelssohn enrolled in Frnkel's Talmud Academy but also began to learn Latin, English, French, and German. Soon he was reading John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) in Latin and studying the philosophical writings of Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnizespecially the Essais de Thodice (1710)--and of Christian Wolff with Aaron Gumpertz, a doctor who became his mentor. Locke, Leibniz, and Wolff introduced Mendelssohn to problems in ethics and metaphysics to which he later responded in his own books. Wolff had published his Vernnfftige Gedancken von Gott, der Welt und der Seele des Menschen (Reasonable Thoughts on God, the World, and the Human Soul, 1719) and Vernnfftige Gedancken von der Menschen Tun und Lassen (Reasonable Thoughts on Human Actions, 1720) in German, rejecting the customary Latin. For orthodox Jews of the time, German was a secular language that was to be shunned; for Mendelssohn, however, it was far superior to his native Western Yiddish, which he came to regard as a corrupted dialect. Much of Mendelssohn's work can be understood as a messianic plea for Jews to adopt the German language. He thoughtthat the existence of the Jewish community would not be endangered thereby, but that the Jews would at last be able to enter into a dialogue with the Christian culture surrounding them. This dialogue, he believed,

would finally draw attention to the peculiar social situation of the Jews. At the time of Mendelssohn's arrival in Berlin the Jewish community did not have a defined ghetto. The oldest Jewish families were wealthy descendants of Viennese refugees who had been admitted to the city in the late seventeenth century on the condition that they use their fortunes to help the Prussian economy. These Jews had been followed by other wealthy merchants, as well as by many poor Jews who were barely tolerated in the city and who lived under the constant threat of expulsion. Citizenship did not extend to Jews; letters of protection were rare and often included only an oldest child, leaving the other children and sometimes even the widow without legal rights. Taxes were high and had to be paid frequently. Since Mendelssohn was an unprotected Jew, his residence in the city was precarious. While a student in Frnkel's academy he earned his living by copying texts and received charity. In 1750 he became a tutor in the house of Isaak Bernhard, a silk merchant who received the right to found a factory (Manufaktur) in 1752. In 1754 Mendelssohn became Bernhard's accountant and then his assistant. After Bernhard's death in 1768 Mendelssohn became a part owner of the factory, running it with Bernhard's widow. His success as a businessman made his philosophical endeavors possible. In 1753 Mendelssohn met Gotthold Ephraim Lessing-according to the story, over a game of chess. Lessing had begun to make a name for himself as a critic and a dramatist; in the following years he guided Mendelssohn in his readings of German literature, helped form his views on aesthetics, and introduced him to Friedrich Nicolai, a critic who became the most important publisher of Enlightenment texts in Berlin. Mendelssohn's anonymously published letter speaking favorably of Lessing's drama Die Juden (The Jews, 1755) appeared in the Theatralische Bibliothek in 1754. A year later Mendelssohn and Lessing wrote the satirical Pope,

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ein Metaphysiker! (Pope, Metaphysician!). While Lessing functioned largely as a mentor in these early years, he was much taken by Mendelssohn's intelligence and knowledge of philosophy. The title character of Lessing's drama Nathan der Weise (Nathan the Wise, 1779) is believed to have been inspired by Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn's Philosophische Gesprche (Philosophical Conversations) and ber die Empfindungen (On Sensations), both published in 1755, document the influence of Wolff, Leibniz, and Shaftesbury. These philosophers spoke for the existence of eternal truths, which Leibniz named vrits de raison (truths of reason) in contrast to vrits de fait (truths of fact). Like Shaftesbury, Mendelssohn chose the dialogue form of presentation. In ber die Empfindungen, he discusses Johann Georg Sulzer's aesthetics, especially the notion of Vergngen (pleasure) that stands at its center. Mendelssohn published essays on aesthetics in Enlightenment journals and founded the Bibliothek der schnen Wissenschaften with Nicolai in 1757. Nicolai, Mendelssohn, and Lessing began their weekly, Briefe, die Neueste Litteratur betreffend (Letters Concerning the Newest Literature), in 1759. In 1756 Mendelssohn had translated Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inegalit parmi les hommes (Essay on the Origin of Inequality, 1755). The following year he and Nicolai decided to learn Greek, and in 1760 Mendelssohn began translations of Plato's Republic and Phaedo. His book on Maimonides' logic in 1761 gives further evidence of his great knowledge of the writings of that medieval philosopher; it was followed by many other works on Jewish law and philosophy. In 1761 Mendelssohn published Philosophische Schriften (Philosophical Writings). He revised the work thoroughly for the editions of 1771 and 1777, expanding his treatment of aesthetics and shifting from an objective account of artistic rules

to a subjective "Gefhl des Schnen" (sense of the beautiful). The development of his aesthetics can also be witnessed in his many reviews. That same year Mendelssohn traveled to Hamburg, where he met Fromet Gugenheim; they were married on 22 June 1762. Mendelssohn had still not been able to gain a letter of protection, but the Marquis d'Argens interceded on his behalf, and mendelssohn was declared an "Auerordentlicher Schutzjude" (Extraordinary Protected Jew) in 1763. The status, however, did not extend to his children. Because of his achievements, the Jewish community freed Mendelssohn from its taxes in the same year and soon gave him several honorary posts. Throughout this period, Mendelssohn's stature as a philosopher continued to rise. He gained a small victory over the most famous Enlightenment philosopher of his time, Immanuel Kant, in 1763: Mendelssohn's essay Abhandlung ber die Evidenz in Metaphysischen Wissenschaften (Essay on Evidence in the Metaphysical Sciences) received the first prize from the Prussian Academy; Kant's essay received only the second prize. Mendelssohn was elected to the Berlin Academy in 1771, but because he was a Jew his election was not confirmed by King Frederick II. In 1777 Mendelssohn stopped in Knigsberg on a business trip to Memel and met Kant and the aesthetician Johann Georg Hamann. In 1767 Mendelssohn published Phaedon oder ber die Unsterblichkeit der Seele (translated as Phaedon; or, The Death of Socrates, 1789). Rather than a translation of Plato's Phaedo , the work is a rewriting of the dialogue. Mendelssohn stresses the philosopher's dedication to spending his life pursuing wisdom, learning about death, and embracing truth. Phaedon is an important document of eighteenth-century thought, especially in regard to the contemporary discussion of the immortality of the soul. It was Mendelssohn's most successful work and has been translated into many languages.

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In 1763 the Swiss clergyman Johann Kaspar Lavater had visited Mendelssohn. Seven years later he published a German translation of Charles Bonnet's 1769 treatise La Palingnesie philosophique, ou Ides sur l'tat pass et sur l'tat future des tres vivants (Philosophical Palingenesis; or, Ideas on the Past and Future State of Living Beings), which upheld the truth of Christianity. Lavater dedicated the second volume of the translation to Mendelssohn and challenged him either to refute Bonnet or to convert to Christianity. Mendelssohn answered with his Schreiben an den Herrn Diaconus Lavater zu Zrich (1770; translated as Letter of Moses Mendelssohn, to Deacon Lavater, 1821), in which he rejects conversion without insisting on a hierarchy of religions. After his exchange with Lavater he felt increasingly responsible for the Jewish nation and was frequently called upon for advice. In response to an appeal from Mendelssohn, Lavater helped to improve the situation of Swiss Jews in 1775. Mendelssohn also mediated on behalf of the Jews in Alsace, Saxony, and Knigsberg. In 1780 Mendelssohn and four other scholars published the first volume of their translation of the Torah, the five books of Moses, on which Mendelssohn had been working since 1774. The Sefer Netibot Ha-Schalom consists of the Hebrew text with a German translation and Hebrew commentary. No other work has been as important for the reformation of the Jewish community in Germany. It introduced German not as a language that would desecrate a holy text but as one that would make discussion of different religious texts possible. It served as well as a reader and helped to make German the primary secular language for German Jews. The translation of the Torah was completed in 1783. Mendelssohn's idea of opening the Jewish community to its German environment had a great influence on educational reform. In 1778 David Friedlnder and Isaac Daniel Itzig, members of prominent Jewish families, founded the Jdische Freyschule (Jewish Free School) in Berlin. The school, which opened its gates in 1781,

was structured according to Mendelssohn's concepts, and Mendelssohn collaborated on a text-book. For the first time, German was used as a language of instruction in a Jewish school. While Friedlnder would later propose the conversion of the whole Jewish community to a secularized Protestantism in the spirit of the Enlightenment-an offer rejected by the kingMendelssohn continued to work for reform within the community and for reform of the social status of the Jews. Christian Wilhelm Dohm, the Prussian secretary of war and royal archivist, published Ueber die brgerliche Verbesserung der Juden (On the Civic Reform of the Jews) in 1781; Dohm's work relied on Mendelssohn's comments and was important in the fight for Jewish emancipation. In 1783 Mendelssohn completed Jerusalem oder ber religise Macht und Judentum (translated as Jerusalem: A Treatise on Ecclesiastical Authority and Judaism, 1838). The book deals with the relationship of religion and church and elaborates on the importance of the law for the Jewish religion. In 1784 Mendelssohn published his essay "Ueber die Frage: was heit aufklren?" (In Regard to the Question: What Does Enlightenment Mean?) in the Berlinische Monatsschrift, a monthly that published many articles on this issue by various prominent philosophers. The essay was first presented at the Mittwochsgesellschaft (Wednesday Society), a group of philosophers, writers, and publicists, of which he had become an honorary member in 1783. Mendelssohn's essay is almost a counterpart to Kant's famous essay on the Enlightenment, which was written at about the same time and which refers to Mendelssohn's piece. In contrast to Kant's investigation of free will and action, Mendelssohn speculates on the definitions of the bourgeois and of culture. "Ueber die Frage: was heit aufklren?" is one of the most important texts investigating and summarizing concepts of the Enlightenment. With Lessing's death in 1781, Mendelssohn lost not only a close friend but also his most important

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link to the non-Jewish environment. A dispute with the writer Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, who claimed that Lessing questioned the JudeoChristian idea of God and turned into a follower of Spinoza in his later years, as well as Mendelssohn's private lectures to his son Joseph and Joseph's friends, resulted in Morgenstunden oder Vorlesungen ber das Daseyn Gottes (Morning Hours; or, Lectures Concerning the Existence of God, 1785). Mendelssohn's most systematic philosophical work, Morgenstunden refutes Jacobi's claim and combines a defense of Lessing as a "geluterter Spinozist" (modified Spinoza student) or, as he later writes, modified pantheist with an attempt to deduce the existence of God scientifically. Religion is shown to be rational. Mendelssohn died on 4 January 1786, after having caught a cold while delivering the manuscript of what can be seen as the second part of Morgenstunden, Moses Mendelssohn an die Freunde Lessings (Moses Mendelssohn's Address to Lessing's Friends, 1786) to his publisher. His oldest surviving daughter, Dorothea, was the author of the novel Florentin (1801); she became the wife of the Romantic philosopher Friedrich Schlegel. Her sons from her first marriage, Philipp and Jonas Veit, became painters of the Nazarene school. Mendelssohn's son Abraham was the father of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, the pianist and composer. With the exception of Joseph, all of Mendelssohn's children converted to Christianity. Papers: Manuscripts and documents concerning the Mendelssohn family are collected in the Mendelssohn-Archiv, Staatsbibliothek Preuischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin. Documents are also located in the archives of the Leo Baeck Institute, New York, which has copies of the material in the Mendelssohn-Archiv.

WRITINGS BY THE AUTHOR: BOOKS Philosophische Gesprche, (Berlin: Vo, 1755). ber die Empfindungen (Berlin: Vo, 1755). Pope, ein Metaphysiker!, by Mendelssohn and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (Danzig: Schuster, 1755). Logica R. Moses Maimonidis, cum explicatione R. Samson Kalir atque Censura Amplissimae Facultatis Philosophae Academiae Francofurtanae (Frankfurt am Main: Grillo, 1761). Philosophische Schriften, 2 volumes (Berlin: Vo, 1761; revised, 1771; revised, 1777; reprinted, Brussels: Culture et civilisation, 1968). Abhandlung ber die Evidenz in metaphysischen Wissenschaften, welche den von der Kniglichen Academie der Wissenschaften in Berlin auf das Jahr 1763 ausgesetzten Preis erhalten hat, (Berlin: Haude & Spener, 1764; reprinted, Brussels: Culture et civilisation, 1968). Phaedon oder ber die Unsterblichkeit der Seele in drey Gesprchen (Berlin & Stettin: Nicolai, 1767); translated by Charles Cullen as Phaedon; or, The Death of Socrates (London: Printed for the author by J. Cooper, 1789; reprinted, New York: Arno Press, 1973); German version reprinted (Hamburg: Meiner, 1979). Sefer Megillat Kohelet 'im Biur (Berlin: Speyer, 1770). Schreiben an den Herrn Diaconus Lavater zu Zrich (Berlin & Stettin: Nicolai, 1770); translated by Frederick Henry Hedge as Letter of Moses Mendelssohn, to Deacon Lavater (New York: Kingsland, 1821). Antwort an den Herrn Moses Mendelssohn zu Berlin von Johann Caspar Lavater: Nebst einer Nacherinnerung von Moses Mendelssohn, by Mendelssohn and Johann Kaspar Lavater (Berlin & Stettin: Nicolai, 1770).

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Ritualgesetze der Juden, betreffend Erbschaften, Vormundschaftssachen, Testamente und Ehesachen, in so weit sie das Mein und Dein angehen (Berlin: Vo, 1778). Jerusalem oder ber religise Macht und Judentum (Berlin: Maurer, 1783); translated by M. Samuels as Jerusalem: A Treatise on Ecclesiastical Authority and Judaism (London: Longman, Orme, Brown & Longmans, 1838); translated by Isaac Lesser as Jerusalem: A Treatise on Religious Power & Judaism (Philadelphia: Sherman, 1852); German version reprinted (Brussels: Culture et civilisation, 1968); translated by Allan Arkush as Jerusalem: Or On Religious Power & Judaism, edited by Alexander Altmann (Hanover, N. H. & London: University Press of New England for Brandeis University Press, 1983). Abhandlung von der Unkrperlichkeit der menschlichen Seele (Vienna: Hartl, 1785). Morgenstunden oder Vorlesungen ber das Daseyn Gottes: Erster Theil (Berlin: Vo, 1785; revised, 1786; reprinted, Brussels: Culture et civilisation, 1968; edited by Dominique Bourel, Stuttgart: Reclam, 1979). Moses Mendelssohn an die Freunde Lessings: Ein Anhang zu Herrn Jacobi Briefwechsel ber die Lehre des Spinoza, edited by Johann Jakob Engel (Berlin: Vo 1786). Abhandlungen ber das Kommerz zwischen Seele und Krper: Aus dem Hebrischen bersetzt, translated by Salomon Anschel (Frankfurt am Main, 1788). Moses Mendelssohns kleine philosophische Schriften: Mit einer Skizze seines Lebens und Charakters von D. Jenish, edited by J. G. Mchler (Berlin: Vieweg, 1789). Moses Mendelssohn's smmtliche Werke, 12 volumes (Often: Burian, 1819-1820). Moses Mendelssohn: Sammlung theils noch ungedruckter, theils in andern Schriften zerstreuter Aufstze und Briefe von ihm, an und ber ihm, edited by Jeremiah Heinemann (Leipzig: Wolbrecht, 1831).

Moses Mendelssohn's smmtliche Werke: Ausgabe in einem Bande als Nationaldenkmal (Vienna: Schmidl & Klang, 1838). Moses Mendelssohn's gesammelte Schriften: Nach den Originaldrucken und Handschriften herausgegeben, 7 volumes, edited by Georg Benjamin Mendelssohn (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1843-1845; reprinted, Hildesheim: Olms, 1976). Moses Mendelssohn's Schriften zur Philosophie, Aesthetik und Apologetik: Mit Einleitungen, Anmerkungen und einer biographisch-historischen Charakteristik Mendelssohns, 2 volumes, edited by Moritz Brasch (Leipzig: Vo, 1880; reprinted, Hildesheim: Olms, 1968). Moses Mendelssohn: Ungedrucktes und Unbekanntes, von ihm und ber ihn, edited by M. Kayserling (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1883). Gesammelte Schriften: Jubilumsausgabe, 13 volumes, edited by Ismar Elbogen, Julius Guttmann, Eugen Mittwoch, and others (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1929-1932; Breslau: Marcus, 1938); reprinted and continued, 22 volumes to date, edited by Alexander Altmann and others (StuttgartBad Cannstatt: Frommann, 1974- ). sthetische Schriften in Auswahl, edited by Otto F. Best (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1974). Selbstzeugnisse: Pldoyer fr Gewissensfreiheit und Toleranz, edited by Martin Pfeideler (Tbingen & Basel: Erdmann, 1979).

Editions in English: Jerusalem and Other Jewish Writings, translated and edited by Alfred Jospe (New York: Schocken, 1969). Moses Mendelssohn: Selections from His Writings, edited and translated by Eva Jospe (New York: Viking Press, 1975).

OTHER

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Abhandlung von dem Ursprunge der Ungleichheit unter den Menschen, und worauf sie sich grnde: ins Deustsche bersetzt mit einem Schreiben an den Herrn Magister Leing und einem Briefe Voltairens an den Verfasser vermehret, translated by Mendelssohn (Berlin: Vo, 1756). Hartog Leo, Danklied Ueber den rhmlichen Sieg, welchen der HERR Unserm allergndigsten Knige und Herrn, FRIEDRICH II. am Sabbath den 5. November 1757 bey Robach in Sachsen verliehen, translated by Mendelssohn (Berlin, 1757). Leo, Danklied Ueber den Herrlichen und glorreichen Sieg, Welchen Se. Majestt unser alldergndigster Knig, den 5. December 1757 bey Leuthen in Schlesien erfochten, translated by Mendelssohn (Berlin, 1757). Leo, Dankpredigt Ueber den Herrlichen und glorreichen Sieg, welchen Se. Majestt unser allgergndigster Knig, den 5. December 1757 'bey Leuthen in Schlesien erfochten; Gehalten von Daniel Hirschel Frnkel, OberlandRabinner, translated by Mendelssohn (Berlin: Birnstiel, 1757). Bibliothek der schnen Wissenschaften und der freyen Knste, 4 volumes, edited by Mendelssohn and Friedrich Nicolai (Leipzig: Dyk, 1757-1760). Briefe, die Neueste Litteratur betreffend, 24 volumes, edited by Mendelssohn, Lessing, and Nicolai (Berlin: Nicolai, 1759-1765). Leo, SCHIR SCHALOM: Friedenslied ... auf den groen Tag, an welchem ... auf dem Schloe Hubertusburg ... Friede geschlossen wurde, translated by Mendelssohn (Berlin: Rellstab, 1763). Aron Mosessohns Friedenspredigt in der Synagoge ze Berlin, edited by Mendelssohn (Berlin: Nicolai, 1763). Lesebuch fr Jdische Kinder. Zum besten der Jdischen Freyschule, edited by Mendelssohn and David Friedlnder (Berlin: Vo, 1779). Sefer Netibot Ha-Schalom, 5 volumes, translated by Mendelssohn, Hartwig

Wessely, Salomon Dubno, Aaron Jarolslaw, and Herz Homberg (volume 1, Gttingen: Dieterich, 1780; volumes 2-5, Berlin: Starcke, 1783). Thomas Abbt, Thomas Abbts vermischte Werke: Dritter Theil, welcher einen Theil seiner freundschaftlichen Correspondens enthlt: Neue und mit Anmerkungen von Moses Mendelssohn vermehrte Auflage, edited by Mendelssohn (Berlin & Stettin: Nicolai, 1782; reprinted as Thomas Abbt's Vermischte Werke, volume 2 (Hildesheim: Olms, 1978). Manasseh Ben Israel, Rettung der Juden: Aus dem Englischen bersetzt. Als ein Anhang zu des Herrn. Kriegsraths Dohm Abhandlung: Ueber die brgerliche Verbesserung der Juden, translated by Marcus Herz, foreword by Mendelssohn (Berlin & Stettin: Nicolai, 1782). Die Psalmen, translated by Mendelssohn (Berlin: Maurer, 1783). Megillat Schir Ha-Schirim, meturgamat aschkenasit al ... Mosche ben Menachem, translated by Mendelssohn (Berlin: Druck der Jdischen Freyschule, 1788).

Letters Gotthold Ephraim Lessings Briefwechsel mit Karl Wilhelm Ramler, Johann Joachim Eschenburg und Friedrich Nicolai, nebst einigen Anmerkungen ber Lessings Briefwechsel mit Moses Mendelssohn (Berlin & Stettin: Nicolai, 1794). Lessings Briefwechsel mit Mendelssohn und Nicolai ber das Trauerspiel. Nebst verwandten Schriften Nicolais und Mendelssohns, edited by Robert Petsch (Leipzig: Drr, 1910; reprinted, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1967). "Briefe von, an und ber Mendelssohn," edited by Ludwig Geiger, Jahrbuch fr jdische Geschichte und Literature, 20 (1917): 85-137.

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Brautbriefe, edited by Haim Borodianski (Berlin: Schocken, 1936; reprinted, Knigstein: Jdischer Verlag, 1985). Neuerschlossene Briefe Moses Mendelssohns an Friedrich Nicolai, edited by Alexander Altmann and Werner Vogel (StuttgartBad Canstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 1973). Briefwechsel der letzten Lebensjahre, edited by Altmann (Stuttgart-Bad Canstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 1979).

FURTHER READINGS ABOUT THE AUTHOR Hermann M. Z. Meyer, Moses Mendelssohn Bibliographie (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1965). Michael Albrecht, "Moses Mendelssohn: Ein Forschungsbericht 1965-1980," Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift fr Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte, 57 (March 1983): 64-159. Meyer Kayserling, Moses Mendelssohn. Sein Leben und seine Werke. Nebst einem Anhange ungedruckter Briefe von und on Moses Mendelssohn (Leipzig: Mendelssohn, 1862; reprinted, Hildesheim: Gerstenberg, 1972). Alexander Altmann, Moses Mendelssohn: A Biographical Study (University: University of Alabama Press, 1973; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1973). Michael Albrecht, "Moses Mendelssohn: Ein Forschungsbericht 1965-1980," Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift fr Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte, 57 (March 1983): 64-159. Meyer Kayserling, Moses Mendelssohn. Sein Leben und seine Werke. Nebst einem Anhange ungedruckter Briefe von und on Moses Mendelssohn (Leipzig: Mendelssohn, 1862; reprinted, Hildesheim: Gerstenberg, 1972). Alexander Altmann, Moses Mendelssohn: A Biographical Study (University: University of Alabama Press, 1973; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1973). Michael Albrecht, Moses Mendelssohn 1729-1786: Das Lebenswerk eines jdischen Denkers der deutschen Aufklrung (Weinheim: Acta Humaniora, 1986).

Alexander Altmann, Moses Mendelssohns Frhschriften zur Metaphysik (Tbingen: Mohr, 1969). Altmann, "Moses Mendelssohns Kindheit in Dessau," Bulletin des Leo Baeck Instituts, 10 (1967): 237-275. Altmann, Die trostvolle Aufklrung: Studien zur Metaphysik und politischen Theorie Moses Mendelssohns (Stuttgart-Bad Canstatt: FromannHolzboog, 1982). Bertha Badt-Strau, Moses Mendelssohn, Der Mensch und das Werk. Zeugnisse / Briefe / Gesprche (Berlin: Welt, 1929). Ehrhard Bahr, Edward P. Harris, and Laurence G. Lyon, eds., Humanitt und Dialog: Lessing und Mendelssohn in neuer Sicht. Beitrge zum Internationalen Lessing-Mendelssohn-Symposium, veranstaltet im November 1979 in Los Angeles, Kalifornien. Beiheft zum Lessing Yearbook (Detroit: Wayne State University Press / Munich: text + kritik, 1982). Karol Bal, "Aufklrung und Religion bei Mendelssohn, Kant und dem jungen Hegel," Deutsche Zeitschrift fr Philosophie, 27 (August 1979): 1248-1257. Isaac Eisenstein Barzilay, "Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786)," Jewish Quarterly Review, 52 (1961/1962): 69-93, 175-186. Schalom Ben-Chorin, "Jdische Bibelbersetzungen in Deutschland," Leo Baeck Institute Year-book, 4 (1959): 311-331. Dominique Bourel, "Les Exigences du libralisme de Mendelssohn," Recherches de science religieuse (1978): 517-532. Bourel, "La purification du Spinozisme chez Mendelssohn," Archivo de Filosofia, no. 1 (1978): 133-145. Bourel, "Les rserves de Mendelssohn: Rousseau, Voltaire et le Juif de Berlin," Revue internationale de Philosophie, 32 (1978): 309-326. Eva Engel, "The Emergence of Moses Mendelssohn as Literary Critic," Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook, 24 (1979): 61-82. Johanna-Maria Geyer-Kordesch, "Die Psychologie des moralischen Handelns: Psychologie, Medizin und Dramentheorie bei G. E. Lessing, Moses Mendelssohn und Friedrich

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Nicolai," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Massachusetts, 1977. Arnold Heidsieck, "Der Disput zwischen Lessing und Mendelssohn ber das Trauerspiel," Lessing Yearbook, 11 (1979): 7-34. Norbert Hinske, ed., Ich handle mit Vernunft... Moses Mendelssohn und die europische Aufklrung (Hamburg: Meiner, 1981). Jacob Katz, "The German-Jewish Utopia of Social Emancipation," in his Emancipation and Assimilation: Studies in Modern Jewish History (Westmead: Gregg, 1972), pp.91-110. Heinz Knobloch, Herr Moses in Berlin: Auf Spureneines Menschenfreundes (Berlin: Der Morgen, 1979). Edward Richard Levenson, "Moses Mendelssohn's Understanding of LogicoGrammatical and Literary Construction in the Pentateuch: A Study of His German Translation and Hebrew Commentary," Ph.D. dissertation, Brandeis University, 1972. Jean-Paul Meier, L'esthtique de Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786) (Paris: Champion, 1978). Erich H. Metzing, "Moses Mendelssohn's Bible Translation Methods, with Special Attention to the Book of Deuteronomy," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Leeds, 1968. Barouch Mevorah, "Johann Kaspar Lavaters Auseinandersetzung mit Moses Mendelssohn ber die Zukunft des Judentums," Zwingliana, 14 (1977): 431-450. Paul H. Meyer, "Le Rayonnement de Mose Mendelssohn hors d'Allemagne," Dixhuitime Sicle, 13 (1981): 63-78. Moshe Pelli, The Age of Haskalah: Studies in Hebrew Literature of the Enlightenment in Germany, Studies in Judaism in Modern Times, 5 (Leiden: Brill, 1979). Nathan Rotenstreich, "Enlightenment between Mendelssohn and Kant," in Studies in Jewish Religious and Intellectual History: Presented to Alexander Altmann On the Occassion of His Seventieth Birthday, edited by Sigfried Stein and Raphael Loewe (University: University of Alabama Press, 1979), pp. 263-279. Rotenstreich, Jewish Philosophy in Modern Times: From Mendelssohn to Rosenzweig (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968).

Rotenstreich, "On Mendelssohn's Political Philosophy," Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook, 11 (1966): 28-41. Hans Joachim Schneider, "Moses Mendelssohns Anthropologie und sthetik (Zum Begriff der Popularphilosophie)," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Mnster, 1970. Selma Stern, Der preuische Staat und die Juden: Dritter Teil. Die Zeit Friedrich des Groen (Tbingen: Mohr, 1971). Frederick Will, "Cognition through Beauty in Moses Mendelssohn's Early Aesthetics," Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 14 (September 1955): 97-105. Sylvain Zac, "Les prix et la mention (Les Preisschriften de Mendelssohn et de Kant)," Revue de Mtaphysique et de Morale, 79 (OctoberDecember 1974): 473-498. About this Essay: Liliane Weissberg, University of Pennsylvania Source: Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 97: German Writers from the Enlightenment to Sturm und Drang, 1720-1764. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book. Edited by James Hardin, University of South Carolina and Christoph E. Schweitzer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Gale Group, 1990. pp. 195-204. Source Database: Biography Dictionary of Literary