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Memoirs of a GrandmotherScenes from the Cultural History of the Jews of Russia in the Nineteenth Century, Volume One$
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Pauline Wengeroff

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804768795

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804768795.001.0001

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The Beginning of the Era of Enlightenment

The Beginning of the Era of Enlightenment

Chapter:
(p.173) 5. The Beginning of the Era of Enlightenment
Source:
Memoirs of a Grandmother
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804768795.003.0006

In this section, Pauline Wengeroff reflects on the late 1830s, a significant time for the Jews of Lithuania from a cultural perspective and the beginning of enlightenment. It was the time when the Lithuanian Jews experienced spiritual and even physical regeneration as a result of the great reforms under Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. A doctor of philology by the name of Lilienthal was tasked to initiate a fundamental transformation of the khedarim (Jewish primary schools). The melamdim (primary school teachers) were required to learn Russian to enable them to translate the Bible into this language for the school children. Toward the end of the 1830s, yeshiva boys became learned proletariat in Lithuania whose religious and intellectual education was systematically regulated. The bokhurim were divided into three classes based on their rabbinical expertise: yeshiva bokhurim, orem bokhurim, and Motele.

Keywords:   Pauline Wengeroff, enlightenment, Lithuania, Jews, reforms, Nicholas I, Russia, education, khedarim, bokhurim

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