The Age of Haskalah is a seminal study of the beginnings of the Haskalah (Hebrew Enlightenment) in Germany in the last quarter of the 18th century. The Haskalah was a literary and cultural movement that reshaped and re-formed Judaism and the Jews in accordance with the needs of modern times, i.e. the European Enlightenment. Leaders of the movement were known as Maskilim and included the poet and grammarian, Naphtali Herz Wessely; the physician, Mordechai Gumpel Schnaber; the writer, Isaac Satanow; the rabbi, Saul Berlin; and the editor and writer Isaac Euchel. With detailed textual and historical evidence, author Moshe Pelli examines the backdrop of the Hebrew Enlightenment and the impact of the European Deism on the pundits of Haskalah. He further probes into early intimations of religious reform, the methodology of reform seen in the first reform temple controversy of 1818, and the attitude of the Maskilim toward the Talmud and the revival of the Hebrew language.
Moshe Pelli is the Abe and Tess Wise Endowed Professor in Judaic Studies and the Director of the Judaic Studies Program at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. He is a leading authority on the Hebrew and Jewish Enlightenment and the author of six scholarly books and numerous studies on the subject. He is also the author of novels and children's books. Professor Pelli has been honored with numerous awards for his teaching and contributions to Jewish studies and to Hebrew culture, including the 1991 Abraham Friedman Prize for Hebrew Culture in America.