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Author: Tamir Karkason


Barukh Mitrani was an Ottoman maskil who wandered between the Balkans, Istanbul and Palestine. While living in Edirne, Mitrani established his first periodical, Carmi (Pressburg 1881). Carmi’s issues were an ongoing maskilic sermon, drawing on a deep acquaintance with the Jewish bookshelf. This paper examines selections from the fifth article in Carmi, ‘Our Nationhood.’ Influenced by the moderate Haskalah, Mitrani idealized a ‘Golden Mean,’ which sought to balance the agendas of ‘the two poles’: insular Ultra-Orthodox Jews on the one hand, and secularized ‘Westernizers’ on the other. Mitrani also espoused a Jewish nationalism which had affinities with the Hebrew ‘republic of letters’ and the national resurgence in the Balkans. He perceived every Jew as part of three circles: the individual, the family, and the nation. Yet his nationalism was not separatist; he obliged Jews to remain loyal Ottoman citizens and promote the Sultanate while also settling in Palestine.

In: Zutot