Thu, Jul 18
02:00PM ET
Thu, Jul 18
02:00PM ET

lecture

Libes briv (18th C.): Isaac Wetzlar’s Call for Reform of Jewish Society and Education (in Yiddish) - Live on Zoom

Marion Aptroot | Delivered in Yiddish. 

Isaac Wetzlar, a Jewish merchant in Germany, writes a Yiddish letter of brotherly love to his brothers and sisters in the mid-18th century. He criticizes the fabric of Jewish society in the German lands and lays out plans for a reform of Jewish education in Ashkenaz in which both Hebrew and Yiddish play a part – for both sexes. Wetzlar calls for a return to basics within Jewish tradition, but he is also inspired by the contemporary Pietist Christian revival movement.

Further reading:

  •  The Libes Briv of Isaac Wetzlar. Edited and translated by Morris M. Faierstein. Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, 1996.
  • Aptroot, Marion, and Rebekka Voß, eds. Libes Briv (1748/49) Isaak Wetzlars pietistisches Erneuerungsprogramm des Judentums: Textedition, Übersetzung, Kommentar und historische Beiträge. Hamburg: Buske, 2021.

About the Speaker
Marion Aptroot received an MA in Romance Languages from Leiden University and a DPhil in Yiddish Studies from the University of Oxford. After teaching as Preceptor in Yiddish at Harvard from 1993–1996, she was appointed professor of Yiddish Culture, Language and Literature at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. Her research focuses on older Yiddish literature and the history of the Yiddish language in their broader contexts. She has written, co-edited or co-authored several books, including Araynfir in der yidisher shprakh un kultur (2002, 2016), Storm in the Community: Yiddish Polemical Pamphlets of Amsterdam Jewry, 1797–1798 (2002), Isaak Euchel, Reb Henoch, oder: woß tut me damit? Eine jüdische Komödie der Aufklärungszeit (2004), Jiddisch: Geschichte und Kultur einer Weltsprache (2010, 2023), Leket: Yiddish Studies Today (2012), Yiddish Language Structures (2014), Yiddish Knights (2020).

Ticket Info: Free; registration is required.


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