Abraham ben Naphtali Tang-A Precursor of the Anglo-Jewish Haskalah*

The term Haskalah is assigned to the cultural movement which affected European Jewry from about the middle of the eighteenth century until well into the nineteenth century. Essentially, it reflected the desire among certain sections of Jewry to break away from the exclusiveness of ghetto life, to acquire Western culture, and to become like their neighbours in language, dress, and habits. Regarded in terms of general European history the Has? kalah was, in fact, the Jewish aspect of a wider movement which historians have desig? nated the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason, and Haskalah can only be fully appreciated if it is viewed from the perspective of the European Enlightenment.

Effects in England

By the beginning of the nineteenth century Haskalah in Holland and Germany had achieved more than a fair measure of success, as, indeed, had the Maskilim (followers of Haskalah) in Italy and France. Could

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