Cedars of Lebanon: XVIII. The Sabbath
This astonishingly modern essay was delivered in the form of a lecture, in Berlin in January 1869, by Hermann Cohen, considered by many the foremost Jewish thinker since Spinoza. It was one of a series of eight public lectures given for the benefit of the Leopold Zunz Fund by “Jewish scholars and scholarly jews.” Berthold Auerbach and Johann Jacoby were in the audience. Cohen himself was only twenty-seven at the time.
The lecture was not published until 1880, when Cohen sent it, along with a postscript he later repudiated, to an old friend, Rabbi Adolf Moses, in Mobile, Alabama, in response to the latter’s request for a contribution to the Zeitgeist, an American German-language periodical edited by him. The lecture was also reprinted separately—still in German—a year later in Milwaukee.
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