The Jewish world of the 18th century was at the nexus of internal and external transformative events which would lead into the modern era. Political changes included the effects of the Seven Years War in central Europe and the partitions of Poland to the east. Internal Jewish disputes such as the Get of Kleves and the Rav Emden Rav Eybeschutz controversy, were accompanied by the challenges presented by the remnants of the Sabbatean movement, the spread of the nascent Chassidic movement and the early Haskala.
With a leadership career spanning the majority of this tempestuous century, Rav Yechezkal Landau (1713-1793), the Noda B’yehuda, rose to the occasion navigating through the turbulent waters which the Jewish community faced throughout. World renowned as a posek, he also ran a yeshiva and exhibited prodigious leadership skills both internally as well as with the government of Austria.
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