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New Heavens and a New EarthThe Jewish Reception of Copernican Thought$
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Jeremy Brown

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199754793

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199754793.001.0001

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The Jewish Encyclopedias

The Jewish Encyclopedias

(p.125) 7 The Jewish Encyclopedias
New Heavens and a New Earth

Jeremy Brown

Oxford University Press

Towards the end of the eighteenth century two encyclopedias written in Hebrew appeared in Europe, and each contained an analysis of the Copernican model. Reshit Limmudim was written by Barukh Lindau as an introductory textbook for schoolchildren – although it reached a far wider audience. Lindau’s book accepted the heliocentric model, and was widely praised by members of the Berlin Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment). The second encyclopedia was called Sefer Haberit, and was an attempt to categorize and explain natural phenomena and geography. It remains in print to this day. Written by Pinhas Hurwtiz, it rejected the Copernican model while stating that it was still possible to be a righteous Jew if it was accepted. For historical perspective, we review the position taken by Solomon Maimon in his 1791, pro?Copernican Hebrew language work Givat Hamoreh.

Keywords:   Barukh Lindau, Pinhas Hurwitz, Solomon Maimon, Reshit Limmudim, Sefer Haberit, Givat Mamoreh, Berlin Haskalah, Copernicus

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