The Dual Truth: Studies on Nineteenth-Century Modern Religious Thought and Its Influence on Twentieth-Century Jewish Philosophy, Volumes I & II

The Dual Truth: Studies on Nineteenth-Century Modern Religious Thought and Its Influence on Twentieth-Century Jewish Philosophy, Volumes I & II


Ephraim Chamiel

Series: Studies in Orthodox Judaism
ISBN: 9781618118820 (hardcover)
Pages: Volume I: approx 380 pp.
Volume II: approx 400 pp.
Publication Date: December 2018


This book explores three schools of fascinating, talented, and gifted scholars who absorbed into their thought the Jewish and secular cultures of their respective homelands. They include halakhists such as Rabbi Ettlinger and Rabbi Eliezer Berkowitz; Jewish philosophers from Isaac Bernays to Yeshayau Leibowitz; and biblical commentators such as Samuel David Luzzatto and Rabbi Umberto Cassuto. Running like a thread through the analysis of the different scholars, is the attempt to conciliate Jewish orthodoxy with a wish to connect with Western culture and philosophy and to accept the conclusions of scientific research. Among these attempts is Luzzatto’s famous “dual truth” approach.

This book is the sequel to the Ephraim Chamiel’s previous book The Middle Way, which focused on the challenges faced by the members of the “Middle Trend” in nineteenth-century Jewish thought.

Ephraim Chamiel has filled various managerial positions in the Bank Leumi Le Israel. Upon his early retirement, he completed his Doctorate in Jewish Thought at Hebrew University, also teaching there for a number of years. He is currently continuing his research in modern Jewish thought.

Table of Contents

Volume I

Translator’s Note
Foreword to the English Edition


Chapter One:
Samson Raphael Hirsch: The Neo-Orthodox, Neo-Romantic Educator, and his Approach of Neo-Fundamentalist Identicality

Chapter Two:
Interpretations of Hirsch’s Thought from the Right and the Left

Chapter Three:
“Heavenly Reward”—Samuel David Luzzatto’s Doctrine of Divine Providence—between Revelation and Philosophy

Chapter Four:
Development of Halakhah: Luzzatto’s Evolving Views

Chapter Five:
The Peshat is One, Because the Truth is One: Luzzatto between Interpretation and Thought

Chapter Six:
Luzzatto and Maimonides: “Accept Truth from Whoever Speaks It”

Chapter Seven:
Luzzatto on Theosophical Kabbalah: Harmful Invention with Worthy Intentions

Chapter Eight:
Between Reason and Revelation: The Encounter between Rabbi Tsvi Hirsch Chajes and Nahman Krochmal

Volume II

Chapter Nine:
Hirsch’s Influence on Religious Jewish Philosophy in the Twentieth Century

Chapter Ten:
Hirsch’s Influence on Rabbi David Tsvi Hoffmann’s Commentary on the Pentateuch

Chapter Eleven:
Hirsch’s Influence on Twentieth-Century Halakhic Decisors

Chapter Twelve:
The Influence of German Neo-Orthodoxy on the Young Rav Kook

Chapter Thirteen:
Luzzatto’s Influence on Umberto Cassuto’s Method of Biblical Interpretation

Chapter Fourteen:
Tolerance, Pluralism, and Postmodernism—A Dialectic of Opposites in Jewish Thought in the Modern Era