Introduction to "Our Debt to Judaism" by Hannah Greenebaum Solomon
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"History is a large cloth, each nation furnishing some threads, not one of which is independent of the others, yet traceable throughout. In the weaving, Israel's portion may be looked upon as one of the fundamental threads, which, in combination with those of Greece and Rome, form the foundation for the beautiful design as it is unfolded by the Creator. Israel's work had chiefly been in the world of thought, influencing all nations of antiquity, preparing the roots from which Christianity and Mohammedanism [Islam] have sprung, proclaiming the ethical principals by which they exist, comprehending in its philosophy the end for which modern science and philosophy are striving. For the philosophy of our time is searching for one spiritual principle. Science would show a unity of worlds, one principle at work in their development, one single germ as a beginning." Hannah Greenebaum Solomon, Introduction to "Our Debt to Judaism", Sheaf 16, January 20, 1892. For further information on Hannah Greenebaum Solomon, see Jewish Women's Archive "Women of Valor" exhibit at http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/solomon
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Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What do you see as the contribution of Judaism and Jews to the "large cloth" of history?

2. Solomon declares that "the philosophy of our time is searching for one spiritual principle." Do you agree? What does that mean to you?

3. How does Solomon see the relationship between science and spirituality? How do you understand that relationship?

For further information on Hannah Greenebaum Solomon, see Jewish Women's Archive "Women of Valor" exhibit at http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/solomon

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Time Period: Modern (Spinoza through post-WWII)