Renaissance, Reformation, and the Jews
DOI link for Renaissance, Reformation, and the Jews
Renaissance, Reformation, and the Jews book
The influence of Renaissance thought on contemporary Jewish communities is a matter of some significance. The ideas of certain intellectual circles in Italy in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries led, perhaps paradoxically to an interest in Judaism and Hebrew matters which in a certain sense paralleled that in Spain, but which took a very different course. The attraction of Kabbalah to Christian scholars seems to have been the opportunities which it offered to those who wished to improve their understanding of God to approach Him more nearly, and to help bring the world into greater accordance with His will. There is certainly good reason to doubt both Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s linguistic competence and his understanding of the place of Kabbalah within Judaism. In his book, The Rudiments of Hebrew, published in 1506, Johannes Reuchlin acknowledged the help he had received in learning the Hebrew alphabet from Jacob Yehiel Loans, Jewish physician to the Emperor Frederick III.