Moses ben Mendel Dessau (1729-?)

He was born in the town of Dessay in Germany to a poor Jewish family. Since Moses had a curved spine, the education he was given was by his father, Mendel, and the local rabbi.

Moses Mendelssohn (?-1786)

Because Mendel was his father’s name, he took the German patronym Mendelssohn, meaning “son of Mendel.”

The reason for this name change had to do with the same reality that faced Philip Evergood’s father, which is to ensure that his own children be able to assimilate faster into society. It was explained by his son Abraham to his brother Felix Mendelssohn, the famous composer.

Mendelssohn would become a famous Jewish thinker within the Age of Enlightenment. Of course, he wanted to advocate for tolerance for Jews in a debate with theologian Johann Lavater.


  • Elon, Amos. The Pity of It All: A Portrait of the German-Jewish Epoch, 1743-1933 (New York: Picador, 2002).
  • Moses Mendelssohn.” Revised Edition. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2019.
  • “Moses Mendelssohn.” Wikipedia.
  • Steinberg, Michael P. “Mendelssohn and Judaism,” in The Cambridge Companion to Mendelssohn, ed. Peter Mercer-Taylor, p. 34, Cambridge University Press, 2004); translation by Eric Werner, corrected by Michael Steinberg.
  • Ynkawen, Robert-Scott. “Philip Evergood | Name Change.” Brilafamo. 2020.

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