Donate Judaism is not the acceptance of a doctrine, of a religion and its rituals. There may be times when this reality is obscured by the manifold and colorful reality of the nations among whom the Jew lives. But even hidden, it remains real and mysteriously active, and there may come a time when the blessed gift, the heavy burden of its confirmation, is bestowed upon those born into it. Franz Rosenzweig, 11 years old, said to a teacher he wanted "to learn Hebrew properly". I like to observe some of the customs - without any real reason … I like to think in the images of the biblical story.

Author:Voodooramar Nakus
Language:English (Spanish)
Published (Last):20 November 2004
PDF File Size:12.66 Mb
ePub File Size:7.5 Mb
Price:Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]

Donate Judaism is not the acceptance of a doctrine, of a religion and its rituals. There may be times when this reality is obscured by the manifold and colorful reality of the nations among whom the Jew lives.

But even hidden, it remains real and mysteriously active, and there may come a time when the blessed gift, the heavy burden of its confirmation, is bestowed upon those born into it. Franz Rosenzweig, 11 years old, said to a teacher he wanted "to learn Hebrew properly".

I like to observe some of the customs - without any real reason … I like to think in the images of the biblical story. Rosenzweig wrote to his own parents: "We are Christians in all things, we live in a Christian state, go to Christian schools, read Christian books, our whole culture is based on a Christian foundation.

On the evening of July 7, , while discussing baptism with Eugen Rosenstock and his cousins Hans and Rudolf Ehrenberg, Rosenzweig promised to get baptized. However, he made one condition. He was, he said, not a goy, but a Jew, and wanted to take a closer look at the things from which he would be separated by this conversion.

He asked his relatives for a time of contemplation and reviewing, a time of a last or was it the first? For him these became the "ten days of return" to his roots in Judaism. Later he wrote to his cousin Rudolf saying: "It [conversion to Christianity] seems unnecessary and for me impossible now.

I remain a Jew. No one comes to the Father - but it is different when somebody does not have to come to the Father because he is already with him.

And this is so for the people of Israel not with the individual Jew. Perhaps "… if not … Jew " or even "… Israel and for the individual Jew. The character and path of the synagogue are quite different from those of the church. At times they are in sharp opposition to each other, yet they belong together and stand continually - though antithetically - as united in contradiction to a paganism that is without revelation. By revelation Rosenzweig meant that which guarantees the continuous vocation, the lasting right and continuing commission of church and synagogue.

It is this "objective origin" of each, this "fixed orientation", which at one and the same time distinguishes them and binds them together.

Rosenzweig first studied medicine and then from to read history and philosophy. He used the pursuit of German Idealism as the springboard for his own "new thinking". Friedrich Meinecke. This was later published in two separate volumes, first as Hegel und der Staat Munich in which he declared: "I believe my Judaization has made me not a worse, but a better German.

Here his German and Jewish backgrounds flow together like two rivers, as they do in German Judaism. He became widely acknowledged through his works where he maintained that there was only one period in German history "where the professor of philosophy and the philosopher were one and the same", and that was the time of classic German Idealism.

However, it was not enough for him to be just a mediator of this great spiritual tradition. Here one had the indestructible feeling: this man must philosophize, he has the treasure in himself which forces the mighty word to light. He did not use the word correlation, but the much wider theological term covenant, all his thinking led him to consider the given relations in which all things find themselves rather than the ideas of matter itself and the essence of things, as had so many philosophers before him.

All the philosophy he had read had been monistic. Rosenzweig discovered in his Judaism the and of the correlations in which he himself stood. The so-called quest for the historical Jesus attempted to free Jesus from all dogmatic overlays. The counter move was to be expected. After the first half of the dogmatic paradox "true man and true God" had been shipwrecked, one had to build on the second half, namely philosophical theology instead of historical theology, on the Christ idea instead of the historical Jesus idea.

As Rosenzweig asked: "Or is it necessary to win back the courage for the whole of the paradox? Buber had tried to develop the idea of an ideal human community from his concept of Hebrew humanism, in which the people of God live among the nations. Rosenzweig saw here the danger of a theological evaporation of the Jewish people into a general idea which is not in any way bound to their concrete existence: "The belief in the Jewish people cannot be based on its historical character alone.

This and speaks of tension and polarity. But only out of this tension, "this highest estrangement, can the eternal meaning of the existence of our peoplehood proceed, the drive that always renews itself to reconcile the unconditional duality into an unconditional unity.

Therefore it is necessary to have courage to face the whole paradox: "In order to understand the Jewish people as the heart-piece of the faith, one has to think the God who is the bridge between Jews and the rest of humanity.

Here he describes revelation as "dialogical occurrence of language". The monologue of the old thinking is broken where the world is only an It, a variety of objects, in which God too is an It, and about whom one could talk and think as an object. The "new thinking" assumes that the I receives itself in the You so that in the challenging call of revelation our eyes and our ears are opened.

This relationship moves in the I and the You and again in the I. Philosophers, the old thinking, had tried to quench the cry of death within themselves by considering their essential existence, by looking for the eternal essence of their being.

But Rosenzweig describes this way of thinking as deeply diseased. He does not want to avoid death as an experience of reality, and so does not enquire about essential nature, but real nature. His "new thinking" begins with the experience of the reality of the elements: God, World, Humanity. He does not ask about their essence and in this way can easily jump over the problem of time and death. New thinking is to know, to acknowledge, what God, World and Humanity do or what happens in them in time and reality.

These are the factual elements, the ever-existing perimeter [Vorwelt], though not goal, the empirical starting point of his thinking. In The Path Rosenzweig concerns himself with the relationship of elements with each other. His central point is the concept of revelation as the real biblical miracle of faith from which a theology, tired of miracles, has tried to distance itself. So his sub-title here is "Against the Theologians". Here he develops the concept of revelation in the great triad of past, present and future.

In creation God is revealed in acts which are always already there before I am. In the present God is revealed strictly speaking [im engeren Sinn] by meeting us as the living word, as claim and offer of love.

In the future God promises revelation as redemption. The person then experiences revelation as a dynamic relationship, the path where God moves from creation through revelation to redemption. This great world drama is told in three tenses, actually "told" only in the book of the past.

In the book of the present the "telling" is taken over by the direct dialogue [Wechselrede]. And in the book of the future the language of the chorus rules supreme, because the individual can only grasp the things of the future in as far as that person is able to say We. Now thinking is replaced by speaking.

In The Form he poses the questions: Does all that happened in the past culminate only in the present, in the moment of perception? Is there nothing that gives direction and character to this stream? Is there nothing left but the unredeemed instant? For this final part Rosenzweig chooses as his sub-title, "Against the Tyrants".

The present kingdoms have no remaining form, because the redemptive future shines already into the present. Rosenzweig saw this anticipation of the eternal kingdom realized in the communities of synagogue and church, in their alternation of everyday life and day of rest, their liturgy and their festive year cycle.

In this last part of his book he enquires about truth, this innermost chamber of revelation, of the name of God. Yet this truth has to be "different from the truth of the philosophers … it has to be truth for everybody. And they do this in prayer and commandment, with which they keep the thirst for the eternal kingdom of redemption unquenched in the midst of the unredeemed kingdoms of this world.

Each prays and lives according to truth as each receives and understands. The Star of Redemption does not lead us out of this world beyond reality. Rather it concludes with the stepping out into the world with the task of proving the truth in the world. Rosenzweig starts out with a reality that is experienced very personally. After completing The Star of Redemption Rosenzweig felt that he now had to personally face up to proving the truth and not avoid reality by continuing to write books any longer.

Anybody was admitted without exam or testimonial. It was open to Jews and non-Jews and not committed to any sect within Judaism, but to Judaism as a whole. Study was not meant to consist of writing or reading books only. Rosenzweig wanted a new kind of learning, what he called "a learning in the opposite direction". By this he meant "a learning, no longer out of the Torah into life, but out of life, out of a world that does not know about the law, back into the Torah …This is the signature of the present time … Those of us for whom being Jewish has again become the central fact of our lives … we all know that we have to sacrifice everything for Judaism, yet we cannot sacrifice anything of Judaism.

To give up nothing, to deny nothing, and then to lead everything back to our Jewishness. Among other prominent people engaged to teach at the Lehrhaus was Martin Buber, whom Rosenzweig sometimes fondly called "Rabbi Martin of Heppenheim". The curriculum at the Lehrhaus embraced the whole spectrum of Jewish life: philosophy and politics, law and ethics, art and metaphysics, the experience of God in everyday life and the experience of personal liberation, letter writing and the laying of a banqueting table.

When one looks at the programs and curricula and tries to sense this living learning and learning life, one cannot help but dream and wish for things to happen also among Christians. In January , Rosenzweig became ill with a quickly progressing paralysis. The Lehrhaus continued to In Martin Buber opened it again.

The last gift we received from Rosenzweig was his participation, with Martin Buber, in the translation of the Hebrew Bible into modern German. For more than four years, he worked from his bed at this translation.

The hermeneutic principle they used came very close to that used by Martin Luther: "Scripture is poison [Schrift ist Gift], so too the holy one. Daily, Rosenzweig had written and received letters. He did not finish his last letter: "… and now it comes, the point of all points, which the Lord really gave me in my sleep: the points of all points, for which it …".

Here broke the thread of his life.


Glazer: The miracle of Franz Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption

The Star of Redemption. Translated from the second edition of by William H. Foreword by N. To anyone even remotely interested in 20th-century Jewish thought the name of Franz Rosenzweig has long been familiar, as are the outlines of his extraordinary life. Born into a cultured, assimilated Jewish family in Kassel, Rosenzweig received only the most rudimentary Jewish education. His interests lay outside Judaism: first in medicine, then European intellectual history, philosophy, literature.


The Star of Redemption, by Franz Rosenzweig

Personal and Intellectual Development Rosenzweig was born in , and grew up as the only child of Georg and Adele Rosenzweig, in an intellectually and culturally vibrant, assimilated Jewish home in Kassel. The University of Freiburg was one of the centers of the Southwest school of neo-Kantianism at the time, and Rosenzweig studied philosophy there with Heinrich Rickert and Jonas Cohn, and history with Friedrich Meinecke. Together, the young Rosenzweig believed, these up-and-coming intellectuals would reconcile in science their respective subjectivity with the objectivity of their time. But the first, and what would end up being the only meeting of the society, appears to have been an abysmal failure precisely because the historians who came to the meeting—most of whom were, like Rosenzweig, students of Meinecke—could in no way stomach the kind of sweeping, metaphysical account of history leading up to the present that Rosenzweig sought to revive. The Baden-Baden Gesellschaft dissolved as quickly as it was formed. The failure of the Baden-Baden experiment led Rosenzweig to reach what he took to be an important conclusion: the individualism of contemporary culture and the specialization of contemporary science were not to be dissolved in an intellectual-spiritual unity of the present.

Related Articles