This article analyzes the role of experiences of illness and poverty in the work of Israel Salanter (1810-1883). It argues that Salanter uses these two experiences, and the emotional responses that they engender, as paradigms for understanding the experience of being obligated to study, and then, change, one’s character. The article shows that obligation played a central role in Salanter’s thought, but that his account of obligation is articulated not against a newly-available form of modern autonomy, but instead, against forms of constraint created by poverty and illness.
Zager, Sarah. "“If You Seek it Like Silver”: Illness and Poverty as Metaphors for Obligation in Israel Salanter." Journal of Textual Reasoning 14, no. 1 (2023): 27-59. https://doi.org/10.21220/s2-gyp8-ab08.