Israel Friedlaender Past and Present a Collection of Jewish Essays (Classic Reprint)

Past and Present a Collection of Jewish Essays (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Past and Present a Collection of Jewish Essays

The collection of essays presented herewith to the public consists of a number of articles and addresses which I have written or delivered during the last twenty years - since 1899 when, as a young student, I entered literary and public life. They are intended for the general reader, although it is hoped that they may not prove altogether valueless to the specialist.

However, the volume represents not only a collection but also a selection. I have rigidly excluded everything that I thought was of merely passing interest at the time it was written, or that I did not consider sufficiently popular, either in subject-matter or in form of presentation, to appeal to the intelligent layman. In one or two instances I found myself compelled to substantiate my theses by a few technical references. I have put these references in small type, in the hope that they will not obtrude themselves upon the reader, and, like the proverbial good children, will be seen and not heard.

Three of the essays ("The Hebrew Language," "The Messianic Idea in Islam," and "Maimonides as a Master of Style") were originally written in German and translated by the author for the present volume.

Two of the essays ("Were Our Ancestors Capable of Self-Government?" and "A New Specimen of Modern Biblical Exegesis") are polemical in character.

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