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Disconnected
Disconnected
What Happens When 100 Teenagers Wake Up without their Smartphones?
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Imagine 100 high school-aged teens – boys and girls, city and suburb dwellers, “heavy smartphone users” and regular users – disconnecting from their smartphones for one whole week. It may sound fictional, but this exactly is what occurred as part of a fascinating experiment that we recently conducted, which serves as the basis of this book. For a long and challenging week, these teenagers documented their experiences in personal diaries, and described them in personal and group interviews. They described their physical and psychological feelings about life without their devices, the effect that disconnecting from their devices had on their social life, their family life, and their management of time and routine tasks. The participants described how their lives looked without a smartphone in school and during their free time, how they missed their device and felt its absence upon waking in the morning and in the moments before falling asleep, and how they even felt it in their dreams, which were filled with longing for the digital friend that had been taken from them. This book provides deep insights into the role of the smartphone in the daily lives of teenagers, and the culture of “cellphones natives,” members of Gen Z. The book offers a new point of view on questions occupying researchers, parents, educators, and professionals: how and why did the smartphone become the dominant medium of communication in the lives and culture of teenagers? How does it shape and influence their daily lives? Can the relationship with the smartphone really be characterized as dependence and perhaps even as an addiction, as many claim, or is it relationship of a completely different nature? In a world full of technology, the aspiration to better understand teenagers and even ourselves requires acknowledging the ways in which these technologies are woven into every moment of our daily lives, for good and for bad.
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Liturgy and Art as Constructors of Cultural Memory in the Middle Ages
Liturgy and Art as Constructors of Cultural Memory in the Middle Ages
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The study of liturgy is intrinsically interdisciplinary and comprises elements of music, drama, theater and devotion that are of great consequence to believers and scholars far and wide. Liturgy is both history and theology, purporting to reflect and propagate values that inform individuals and communities alike, playing a vital role in the construction of sacred and lay memory and identity. As a multi-sensory experience, liturgy maintains a dynamic relationship with the surrounding space and its visual components, including art, artifacts and architecture. The essays in this book examine diverse aspects of liturgy and the arts, and were written by scholars working in the disciplines of musicology, social and cultural history, art history, material culture, and the history of the Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages and beyond. The articles engage in a comparative and interdisciplinary discourse, in order to contextualize the liturgical practices within the production of medieval cultural memory, and within the symbolic traditions expressed through liturgy and the arts. Primary sources include texts, rituals, music and visual media from Western Europe (Christian and Jewish) and the Latin Levant. The study of written, visual and musical constructs identifies the values and ideals conveyed and instilled through Jewish and Christian liturgical commemoration, and explores how these activated the faithful's idea of community and their place within it.
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Until Elijah Comes
Until Elijah Comes
The Portrayal of Elijah the Prophet in Tannaitic Literature
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Elijah the Prophet is a remarkably impressive figure whose life is full of dramatic moments: the decree to stop the rain, the fierce tension with King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, the war on idolatry which had its climax on Mount Carmel with the killing of the prophets of Baal, God’s revelation at Horeb, the ascent to heaven in a chariot of fire, etc. These episodes sparked the imagination of readers and commentators, thinkers and artists, who continued to study the figure of Elijah throughout the generations. The book Until Elijah Comes: The Portrayal of Elijah the Prophet in Tannaitic Literature is an examination of Elijah’s multi-faceted character as reflected in Tannaitic sources, the earliest stratum of rabbinic literature. Adiel Kadari presents an in-depth analysis of the major issues related to Elijah the Prophet in the intellectual world of the sages, such as the principles and limits of halakhic discourse, messianism and eschatology, religious and political zealotry, the phenomenon of prophecy and the question of its persistence in the post-biblical era, and the relationship to history, religious piety and asceticism. The analysis of Elijah in this volume is rooted in philological studies concerning the origin and transmission of the text, and branches out to an examination of ideological aspects and worldviews. The synthesis of various approaches employed in the study of rabbinic literature yields a rich and variegated discourse. The book’s various chapters reveal the tremendous importance of Elijah in the eyes of the sages, as well as the exegetical and ideological struggles over the shaping of his image.
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From Carnival to Theatre
From Carnival to Theatre
Structure and Chaos in the Commedia Dell’arte
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Commedia dell’arte, originating in Italy and proliferating on European stages from approximately 1650 to 1750, is one of the most significant and long-lasting phenomena in theatre history; its influence on all performing genres is notable throughout Western Drama to this very day. The new study From Carnival to Theatre: Structure and Chaos in the Commedia Dell'arte provides a comprehensive, deeply-researched study of the development of the genre, the establishment of the first professional troupes in Europe, their organization, their patrons and wide variety of popular and elite audiences. The study traces all aspects of the unique improvised performance: the show's space, dramatic patterns, dramatis personae, acting style, costume and stage design are re-interpreted by the attachment of the commedia dell’ arte to its double roots: the heritage of written literature, and manifestations of popular oral tradition in seasonal festivities. The book explores especially the interaction of the commedia dell'arte with the phenomenon of carnival, in its very existence as an opposition to the social structure within the liminal time and space related to the celebration. Being an authorized event, containing metaphors of annihilating the existent order, in which subversion could be substituted by amusement, the carnivalesque combined time, place and creative means into a new theatrical form: the commedia dell'arte.
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The Barbed-Wire College
The Barbed-Wire College
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In The Barbed-Wire College Ron Robin tells the extraordinary story of the 380,000 German prisoners who were brought to the USA during WWII and kept in camps throughout the country. Using personal narratives, camp newspapers, and military records, Robin re-creates in arresting detail the attempts of prison officials to mold the minds of their prisoners. From 1943 onward, despite the Geneva Convention, prisoners were subjected to an ambitious re-education program designed to turn them into American-style democrats. Under the direction of the Pentagon, liberal arts professors pushed through a program of arts and humanities that stressed only the positive aspects of American society. The American educators censored popular books and films in order to promote democratic humanism and downplay class and race issues, materialism, and wartime heroics. However, by the war's end, the curriculum was more concerned with combating the appeals of communism than with eradicating the evils of National Socialism. The re-education program, overall, failed to make these POWs shed their Nazi beliefs and become supporters of a liberal- democratic ethos. It succeeded less than the policies of other nations in indoctrinating prisoners of war or internees. In The Barbed-Wire College Ron Robin shows how this intriguing chapter of military history was also tied to two crucial episodes of twentieth- century American history: the battle over the future of American education and the McCarthy-era hysterics that awaited postwar America.
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Ideology of Apostasy
Ideology of Apostasy
The Ideology of Jewish Spaniards Who Converted to Christianity
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This research project tries, for the first time, to analyze and compare all the key Spanish Jewish apostates, especially Petrus Alfonsi, Abner of Burgos, Geronimo de Santa Fe, Pablo de Santa Maria and Pedro de la Caballeria. The aim of this research is to understand the ideological background of the mass conversion of the Spanish Jewish community from the perspective of the intellectual elite involved in the conversion itself and not – as has usually been the case in modern scholarship – according to the rabbis who decided to stay Jewish. In the first part of the book, the author explains the impact of the conversion of a part of the Jewish intellectual elite on the Spanish Jewish population. In the second part, he examines the opinion of the various ideological converts regarding Christianity (especially the dogmas of the Trinity and Incarnation). In the third part, he analyzes their criticisms of Judaism. The main conclusion of this research is that there is a very important difference between the various converso intellectuals regarding the essence of Christianity. The conversos who were philosophers or kabbalists before their conversion continued with a similar approach even after their conversion, using their former philosophical/kabbalistic knowledge to try to convince their fellow Jews to convert as they had. The common denominator of the different writings of these apostates is not their opinions on Christianity but rather their similar criticisms of Judaism, and especially with regard to keeping Jewish religious obligations.
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Jewish Penology
Jewish Penology
The Theory and Development of Criminal Punishment Among the Jews Throughout the Ages
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This study is devoted to three interrelated subjects: We seek to understand the theory of Jewish criminal punishment, we shall endeavor to describe the role of pain and suffering in punishment, and we wish to present an encyclopedic view of Jewish penology, the history of criminal punishment among the Jews throughout history. We intend to point out that there was more than one system of Jewish penology. We will elaborate upon the existence of a classical system – retributory and expatiatory – related to a self-perfecting society. Only such a society would ordain a painless penalty for death for criminals guilty of the most serious crimes with malice and forethought and a painful punishment with immediate restoration to one's community for criminals guilty of lesser crimes. Criminal penalties for the purposes of deterrence (private or public) or of social rehabilitation are minor considerations. In addition to and alongside the classical penological system, we will be detailing other systems of a more practical nature: one governed by the King's law and others emerging from rabbinical ad hoc jurisdiction and communal legislation. These systems are less governed by the classical motivations of strict retribution and religious expiation (which continue to play a role – albeit a relatively minor one); deterrence and social rehabilitation, law and order, are their dominant considerations. Moreover the varying degrees of judicial autonomy granted to the Jewish community by the non-Jewish governments resulted in variations in penal practices among the various communities themselves. A summery in English at the end of the book.
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Ma'arag
Ma'arag
The Israel Annual of Psychoanalysis
9
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MA‘ARAG: The Israel Annual of Psychoanalysis is a democratic, refereed annual publication, evaluated and edited by academicians, intellectuals in related fields, and clinicians. The journal, dedicated to research in psychoanalytic theory, practice and criticism, is the fruit of the initiative and cooperation of the Sigmund Freud Center for the Study and Research in Psychoanalysis of the Hebrew University, the Israeli Association for Self Psychology and the Study of Subjectivity, Israel Society for Analytical Psychology, Israel Psychoanalytic Society, Clinical Division of the Israel Psychological Association, Israel Institute for Group Analysis, Israel Institute of Jungian Psychology, The Sigmund Freud Chair of Psychoanalysis of the Department of Psychology, The Hebrew University, Tel-Aviv Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis, The Winnicott Center in Israel and the New Israeli Jungian Association. In this issue: Merav Roth | FROM “FUNES THE MEMORIOUS” TO FORGETFUL AGNES: ON DEAD REMEMBERED MEMORIES AND THE ALIVE FORGOTTEN Emmanuel Amrami | ON SEXUALITY IN PSYCHOANALYSIS: TWO PHASES, THREE FACES, AND A BRIEF GLANCE TOWARD LOVE Anat Tzur-Mahalel | “WRITING LIKE A DOG DIGGING A HOLE; A RAT DIGGING ITS BURROW:” NARRATIVES OF SEPARATION THROUGH THE PERSPECTIVE OF FREUD’S PATIENTS Rakefet Efrat (Levkovich) Holzer | “YOUR ENDLESS UNRETURN”: MELANCHOLY AND ABYSMAL DOUBLE NEGATION Ayelet Naeh | THE SELF THAT IS NOT ONE: ON THE REFLECTIVE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE SELF AND AWARENESS THROUGH A KABBALISTIC PERSPECTIVE Yifat Eitan-Persico | OEDIPAL CONFIGURATIONS IN SAME-SEX FAMILIES Omri Blum | THE UNCANNY: A STUDY OF THE UNCANNY IN LITERATURE AND PSYCHOANALYSIS Ruth Netzer | MYTHS AND REALITIES: ON INCEST, SIN AND REDEMPTION Moshe Alon | TRANSFERENCE, COUNTERTRANSFERENCE AND THE WOUNDED HEALER: A JUNGIAN ANALYTIC-PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE ON THE PSYCHOTHERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIP Tziki Cohen | BETWEEN MONAD AND DYAD: THE MULTIFACETED NATURE OF SELF-CONSTITUTION Alina Schellekes | SENTENCED TO LIFE: REFLECTIONS ON THE INABILITY TO SUSTAIN VITALITY, FOLLOWING THE MOVIE “TURTLES CAN FLY” Dafna Ben-Zvi | HOW DOES THE ‘ISLAND OF MAYBE’ HEAL? REPETITION AND REPARATION IN “THE JOURNEY TO THE ISLAND OF MAYBE” BY MIRIAM YALAN-STEKELIS
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The Interpretive Imagination
The Interpretive Imagination
Religion and Art in Jewish Culture in Its Contexts
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The papers collected in this volume represent the proceedings of a May 2011 conference organized by the 2008–2011 research group on ‘The Interpretive Imagination: Connections between Religion and Art in Jewish Culture in Its Contexts’ at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Scholion Interdisciplinary Research Center for Jewish Studies—a center that owes its existence to the vision and the generosity of the Mandel Foundation. The four undersigned editors of this volume, all professors at the Hebrew University, were the senior members of the group, which also included five younger scholars: Dr.Yonatan Benarroch, Dr. Irina Chernetsky, Anat Danziger, Dr. Vered Madar, and Tehila Mishor. In its research and activities, the group attempted an integrated examination of the religious and the artistic, and of their aesthetic, experiential, and interpretive aspects—and the present volume exemplifies the work which was carried out during the years at Scholion. The subjects in this title: Singing with the Sirens: Probing the Boundaries of Interpretation Sabba-Yanuka and Enoch-Metatron as James Hillman’s Senex-Puer Archetype: a Post-Jungian Inquiry into a Zoharic Myth The Vision of Florence as a New Rome: Some Rhetorical and Visual Aspects Authority and Its Discontent in 17th Century Amsterdam Jewry: Fin-de-Siècle Visual Interpretations Communities of Voice at Times of Twilight: Real and Imagined Spaces of Sound among Central European Jews at the Opening and Closing of the Gates Religion on the Opera Stage: Source of Conflict, Possibility for Reconciliation Allegory, Excess, Stuttering: On the Reading of Kafka’s Writing Machine A Permanent Shadow: Ilse Aichinger and Franz Kafka ‘Deus ex Machina’ in the Modern Theatre: From Brecht’s Threepenny Opera to the ‘plumpes Denken’ of Walter Benjamin Listening and Exegesis in a Women’s Vocal Community Agnon’s Biblical Ethnographies: “Edo and Enam” and the Quest for the Ultimate Song
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Two Together
Two Together
A New Religious-Secular Philosophy
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Two Together , by Moshe Meir, embodies a breakthrough in Judaic philosophy in the new era. Its roots are anchored in the sources of the Jewish religion’s twentieth century philosophy, particularly that of Hermann Cohen and Rabbi Soloveichik, and Chassidic philosophy and heritage; its background is the barren dispute between religiosity and secularism in the era defined as post-modern. Moshe Meir’s painful acknowledgment, drawn from personal experience, is that the independent identity of ‘the religious’ and ‘the secular’ participate in each other’s worlds, and the dispute not only divides them but causes splitting among themselves. In his book, the author develops a new religious-philosophical language which enables stepping out from behind the armor that prevents each party from seeing the other’s humanity, and creating not only humane Jewish rapprochement but also a personal identity that bridges and unifies the secular believer on one hand, and the believing secularist on the other. As a researcher of Judaic philosophy in the new era who has consolidated his own views on these issues, I was deeply impressed by the innovative impetus, clarity and intellectual integrity characteristic of Moshe Meir’s book, from the beauty of its structure, and its elegant style. It is an attractive book which, despite its depth, is eminently readable and enjoyable. This book will enrich and enhance the spiritual world of all readers interested in such topics, and may give rise to serious, in-depth debate among its enthused supporters and equally enthused opponents, whether they are religious or secular. (Prof. Eliezer Schweid, Department of Jewish Thought, Hebrew University, Jerusalem). The search for a refreshing religious philosophy is one of the most vital and fascinating of all. Moshe Meir presents a path which is both model and content for establishing one of the most unique modes of belief in our generation. Precisely because I do not agree with all his views, I consider it of supreme importance that his principles are read by, and echo within, every believing individual – either by their adoption, or critical review – as they convey a tone of orientation that is direct, and deep, in seeking God. (Rabbi Yuval Cherlow). In this beautiful, important, and innovative book, Moshe Meir creates the religious-secular individual from his image, similar only externally to the religious-orthodox individual. This intriguing creation caused me to reconsider my own likeness, and discover that after all is said and done, I am none other than a secular-orthodox person whose similarity to a secular-secularist is only external. (Ari Elon, author of עלמה די and בא אל הקדש (
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The Poetry of Yitzhak Ogen
The Poetry of Yitzhak Ogen
Literary Ecosystem in Erets Yisrael 1930-1940
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The poetry of Y.Ogen has been cast aside from modern Hebrew Poetry inner circle of the 1930's due to its affiliation to the some what forgotten poetic group of the poet Yitzhak Lamdan who was the literary editor of 'Gilionot' literary monthly. The mystic and melodic literary course permeated at the beginning of the 1930s' to the Hebrew Poetry by that circle's special style, first and foremost due to Ogen's writing, has by many aspects, foreseen the late 1930's modernism, such as Alterman's Poetry. Ogen's book 'Ba-hizdakchut' (Gilionot, 1935) has generated a tacit Altermanic revolution, that has not been fully acknowledged, because of the expulsion of Gilionot Circle from the critical discourse of the poetic modernity of the time. The monography of Y.Ogen describes in details this poetic course of action in a manner separated from the 'Literary Republic' conventional discourse, that has ultimately linked between modernistic strategies and violent culture quarrels and poetic strategies of annihilation of old traditions in favor of a new style. The critical discourse hereby discussed – literary ecology – deals with the poetic habitat and writer's cultural environment and rehabilitates outcasted poets by reinsuring their formative influence upon the esthetical climate, especially by pointing out the writer's poetical skills as a form of an artistic niche in an environment which characteristics are both cultural and materialistic.
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Called Away From Our School-Desks
Called Away From Our School-Desks
The Yishuv in the Shadow of Holocaust and in Anticipation of Statehood in Children's Literature of Eretz Israel, 1939-1948
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Literature for children written in pre-state Israel played a major role in shaping the young generation's values, experiences and conception of the world. Up until the 1940s, the hegemonic current of this literature's related the tale of the Zionist-Socialist accomplishments and presented the Hebrew generation growing up in the country as the opposite of the Diasporic Jew. During World War II, with the arrival of the news of the Holocaust transpiring in Europe, as well as at the period of conflict with the British, the story for children had changed dramatically. This shift has left a considerable mark on Hebrew culture as a whole. In her book From the School Desk We Were Taken Yael Darr describes how writers for the young committed themselves toa new story, focusing on the battle and sacrifice of youths. In this new narrative the Hebrew children were portrayed as skillful fighters serving role models even for the parents' generation. Yet, Darr also suggests that the literature for children did not ignore the news about the destruction of the European Jewry. While it might be expected of literature aimed at young readers to spare them exposure to such a catastrophe, it was in fact precisely that literature which was quick to tell the story of the disaster. Furthermore, in its varied and numerous references to the Holocaust the children's literature even preceded the Holocaust literature for adults. Darr's book recounts the military-national story as well as the tale of the devastation of the European Jewry in all its complexity. The writer also shows how some of the literary forms dealing with the Holocaust during the British Mandate were abandoned, when towards the founding of the state the children's literature fused the heroism of the country's youth and the story of the Holocaust weaving them into a pronounced national lesson. The book uncovers a wide range of literary works for children and youngsters written in the nineteen forties both by mainstream, center-stage, authors and by those in its margins. It closely analyzes several establishing works of fiction thus shedding light on the society and culture of those years while undermining conventions concerning the position of the Israeli based Jewish community concerning the Holocaust and its survivors.
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The Commentary of R. Samuel Ben Meir (Rashbam) on Qoheleth
The Commentary of R. Samuel Ben Meir (Rashbam) on Qoheleth
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This book, designed for students of the Hebrew Bible and medieval exegesis, presents a small part of the work of R. Samuel ben Meir (Rashbam), the grandson of Rashi and one of the leading figures in Rashi’s school of exegesis in northern France. The authors show by their editing of the text, in translation and in introduction, the specific and unique contributions which Rashbam makes, not only to the understanding of Qoheleth, but to the text of the Hebrew Bible as a whole. They will surely stimulate research into the whole area of medieval exegesis. Rashbam רשבם is a Hebrew acronym for רבי שמואל בן מאיר (Rabbi Shmuel son of Meir) (c.1085 - c.1158). His father was Meir ben Shmuel and his mother was Yocheved, the daughter of Rashi. Like his grandfather Rashi, the Rashbam was a biblical commentator and Talmudist. He was also a leading French Tosafist. He was the older brother of the Tosafist Rivam and the Tosafist Rabbeinu Tam, also known as Jacob ben Meir. He was a colleague of Rabbi Joseph Kara. Rashbam was born in France in the vicinity of Troyes. He learned from Rashi and from the Riva. He was the teacher of his brother, Rabbeinu Tam. His commentary on the Torah is renowned for its stress on the plain meaning (peshat) of the text. This approach often led him to state views that were somewhat controversial (thus resulting in the omission of his commentary on the first chapters of Genesis in many earlier editions of the Pentateuch). Parts of his commentary on the Talmud have been preserved, and they appear on the pages of most of tractate Bava Batra (where no commentary by Rashi is available), as well as the last chapter of tractate Pesachim. Rashbam earned a living by tending livestock and growing grapes, following in his family tradition. Known for his piety, he defended Jewish beliefs in public disputes that had been arranged by church leaders to demonstrate the inferiority of Judaism.
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In spite of it all...
In spite of it all...
Aron Menczer and Jewish Youth Vienna-Theresienstadt (1938-1943)
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Aron Menczer (1917-1943) was an active member of the Zionist youth movement Gordonya. After the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in March 1938, he became deeply involved in the efforts of the Youth Aliyah to enable Jewish youngsters to emigrate from Austria to Palestine. Menczer postponed his own Aliyah in order to continue to work for the exit of Jewish youth from Nazi Austria, and became in September 1939 the director of the Youth Aliyah in Vienna. His absolute devotion to the emigration efforts and to the educational work with the remaining Jewish youngsters in Vienna made him their recognized leader. Menczer was deported to Ghetto Theresienstadt in September 1942, where he continued his educational work. In October 1943 he was transported to Birkenau with a group of 1196 children, who were brought to Theresienstadt from Bialistok, and with 52 adults who, like him, volunteered to take care of them. They were all murdered there. The personality and deeds of Aron Menczer are the center of the book. A couple of chapters deal with the historical background: the Nazi policy of pressuring Jews to exit the country, prior to the phase of deportation and murder, and the efforts by the Youth Aliyah and other organizations to rescue them. The book is based on the original German version edited by Joanna Nittenberg und Benjamin Kaufmann. Two new parts were added to the current Hebrew version, edited by Jacob (Kobi) Metzer . One is a comprehensive introduction which examines Menczer’s activity in light of some general issues raised in the research literature. The other part consists of archival sources which were added to the book for additional insights.
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Penalty and Temptation
Penalty and Temptation
Hebrew Tales in Ashkenaz Ms. Parma 2295 (de-Rossi 563)
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Penalty and Temptation: Hebrew Tales in Ashkenaz by Rella Kushelevsky , discusses thirteen tales copied in MS. Parma 2295 (thirteenth century, North France). The tales, which originated in Rabbinic Literature and in medieval story compilations from the East, were re-worked and re-formulated in Ashkenaz. A careful reading of these narrative versions, mostly published here for the first time, and an attentiveness to their unique characteristics compared to classic and modern versions, portrays a broad and panoramic view of Ashkenazi culture: concrete depictions of Paradise and Hell, martyrdom as a central value, repentance practices and other central topics in Ashkenazi piety, as well as images of women and religious symbols from the non-Jewish surroundings. The book offers a double perspective: literary, since these narratives are artistic works in every respect, and hermeneutic, since they trigger a multi-participant dialogue. The readings offered in Penalty and Temptation are the result of the interaction between narratives copied in North France – themselves readings of earlier narrative traditions – and the reader, who becomes acquainted with different modes of being while also similar to his or her own. Ashkenaz in this book is not a historical reality but a fictive entity that bestows this reality with significance, and in which the reader takes part in its establishment.
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Revelation and Rectification
Revelation and Rectification
In the Revealed and Hidden Writings of R. Nahman of Breslav
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In the book Revelation and Rectification, private aspects of Rabbi Nachman's personal spiritual world, previously unknown and never before discussed, are revealed. The first section of the book explores the spiritual revelations experienced by Rabbi Nachman of Bretslav as well as the spiritual experiments he conducted . Among the topics discussed is the powerful story of spiritual revelation entitled "The Story of the Bread" wherein Rabbi Nachman newly receives the Torah, as did Moses on Mount Sinai. This story was kept secret for two hundred years because of Rabbi Nachman's warning against showing it to any stranger. The second section of the book is dedicated to the rectifications - tikunim - which Rabbi Nachman established. The content and the process of the formulation of the tikun klali (general rectification) are discussed, as are the tikun following nocturnal emission and the tikun to be performed during the pilgrimage to his grave. In this context, the secret story "The Story of the Armor," which deals with the unique quality of the tikun established by Rabbi Nachman is included . In the book, the connection between the personal trials that Rabbi Nachman weathered successfully and the tikunim he established becomes clear. The secret Breslav traditions which tell of the temptations with which Rabbi Nachman struggled while still a young bridegroom comparing him to the Biblical Joseph are discussed.. Also addressed in the book are the motives behind Rabbi Nachman's choice of the city of Uman as his final resting place and the place where the tikun of pilgrimage to his grave was to be performed. The book's final chapter jumps 200 years forward and discusses the developments which took place following the death of Rabbi Nachman, focusing in particular of those developments which have taken place during the past decade (2000-2010 ), among them, new rituals surrounding the pilgrimage to Rabbi Nachman's grave such as the "universal general tikun" and the tossing away of piercing jewelry while reciting the traditional tashlich prayer. The book explores the novel context given by today's Breslav Hasidim to the phenomenon of the pilgrimage to Rabbi Nachman's grave in Uman on the Rosh Hashana holiday, in an era when Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav has become a contemporary Israeli cultural hero who plays an important role in the worlds of varied populations who are not traditionally Breslav Hasidim.
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Journeys of the Soul
Journeys of the Soul
Concepts and Imageries of Paradise in Medieval Kabbalah
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Journeys of the Soul: Concepts and Imageries of Paradise in Medieval Kabbalah covers the most decisive period in the history of Jewish speculation about the Garden of Eden. At the heart of the book is a thorough analysis of the compositions written by medieval kabbalists and other esotericists dedicated to that ultimate locus of retribution. Alongside their concrete and abstract portraits of the Garden, these works discuss its relationship to the Godhead and the role it plays in personal eschatology, anthropology, and psychology. The book examines trends within the interpretive history of the biblical Paradise in medieval Jewish thought more generally, and in medieval kabbalistic literature in particular. The notion of gradations or distinct sites within the Garden of Eden is explored in light of its possible influences, and the appearance of the Garden of Eden within kabbalistic psychology is considered in light of thirteenth-century theosophical doctrines. A lengthy treatment is devoted to those works which delineate the architectonic structure of the supernal Garden and depict the visual appearance of the earthly temples (hekhalot) of the lower Garden, while mapping them onto the structurally complex interrelationships within the Godhead. Within this context, the book treats a number of textual conundrums concerning the very development of the kabbalistic canon, including the appearance of the Zohar. Throughout the book, the author also investigates scientific paradigms, legendary traditions, and theological polemics in the religious literature of the period concerning the appearance and structure of the Garden of Eden. Similar exegeses, shared traditions, and a common conceptual foundation of the eschatological Paradise are identified in the kabbalistic literature, alongside echos of the Jewish apocrypha, Rabbinic literature, and Hekhalot texts. Dr. Avishai Bar Asher has been awarded the Matanel Prize for the best book in Jewish Thought published during the years 2018-2019
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The Halakhah as an Event
The Halakhah as an Event
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The Halakha is not just a body of literature; it is also a cultural event. It follows then that the philosophy of Halakha must address the happening of the Halakha. Surprisingly, till now philosophers of Halakha have not addressed this dimension of the event or the happening of the Halakha. The articles in this book are an attempt at facing this challenge. But this is not simple because herein lies a paradox. If the event or the happening is something that lies outside the confines of what is captured in the written word, the effort to write about it is one that must take us on a fascinating journey between what is possible and what perhaps is not. What is the nature of the Halakha as an event? What is the knowledge contained in this dimension of the Halakha that defies conceptualization in the written word? How does the insight that the Halakha is principally an event dramatically affect the philosophy of the Halakha? As we have said, philosophers of the Halakha have not addressed this question before and the authors in this collection – scholars and researchers from a wide range of fields – are all facing it for the first time bringing to it a wide range of tools from fields as varied as philosophy, Jewish thought, performance, cinema, group dynamics, cognition, gender studies and more. Together they offer us a new discourse and framework for conceptualizing the philosophy of the Halakha.
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Aristotle’s Hand
Aristotle’s Hand
Five Philosophical Investigations
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Aristotle’s Hand discusses in an accessible way but without intellectual compromise some classical philosophical problems and issues. It contains five independent chapters: on the dream argument; on freedom of the will; on measurement and distance; on the argument from design and evolution; and on the nature of philosophy. It will appeal to the general reader but is also suitable for introductory university courses and high school philosophy classes. The first chapter presents the dream argument and explains why the conception of knowledge that the argument presupposes, originating with Plato and derived from mathematics, is unjustified. The second chapter discusses the nature of free will and its relation to our accountability for our actions, and shows how it is compatible with determinism in nature. The third chapter investigates various aspects of measurement generally and of that of distance particularly, and explores their interrelations and limitations. The fourth chapter confronts the argument from design with evolutionary theory as purported explanations of apparent design in nature, and explains the limitations of the former, its fundamental weakness, and the advantages of the latter. The last chapter discusses the nature of philosophy, its failure to supply knowledge about the world, the insights it can offer, and its possible contribution to other disciplines. The book combines an introduction to classical philosophical debates with original contributions. Both experienced and new readers will find it valuable and stimulating.
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Jewish Fundamentalism and the Temple Mount
Jewish Fundamentalism and the Temple Mount
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The Temple Mount is the most sacred site in Judaism and the third most sacred site of Islam in, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. The sacred nature of the site has made it one of the main foci of tension and friction in the context of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Jewish fundamentalism and the Temple Mount is original and pioneering research on a number of radical and messianic movements in Israel that wish to, and at times, are making preparations to rebuild the Temple. The manuscript examines the theological roots and historical circumstances that have given rise to the movement of Temple Builders. It places the different movements within larger political, social and religious developments, offering the readers a context to understand the place of such groups within the larger Israeli, and global realities of our time. The research is described in the context of the fundamentalist phenomenon – a wave whose ramifications go far beyond the context of the Middle East. The research gives special attention to the connection between Jewish Temple Builders and Christian fundamentalist supporters and presents the theological exchanges that have taken place. The Book points to the Six Day War as a watershed event that has given rise to messianic interpretations of the Israeli victory and its significance for Jewish history. Israel’s’ overtaking of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, resurrected and enhanced messianic convictions of Zionist Orthodoxy. However, the crystallizing during the 1980s-2000s of contemporary Messianic groups and their Temple oriented Messianic beliefs has driven not the euphoria of victory, but form the fear of disappointment. Those aspiring to build the Temple are afraid of an imminent loss of the territorial gains of made in the Six Day War, due to the peace process, and the theological implications of such setback to their messianic hopes.
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New Streams in Philosophy of Halakhah
New Streams in Philosophy of Halakhah
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What is Philosophy of Halakhah? Can the Halakhah be understood philosophically? Is the Halakhah influenced by factors external to it? This book, New Streams in Philosophy of Halakhah points to new directions of research by outstanding scholars in this field. This book has four sections: delineating the field of inquiry; study of the role and function of philosophy in Halakhic discourse; formalism and realism in Halakhic interpretation; sociological, anthropological and gender orientated readings of the Halakhah. In these sections fundamental issues will be clarified including defining the discourse of philosophy of Halakhah, the diverse elements within Halakhah, and the contribution of the Halakhic philosopher to an understanding and clarification of the Halakhah and its significance. Also treated in this book is the issue, whether the Halakhah is characterized only by factors inherent in it or whether also by valuative and philosophical worlds outside of it. What is the weight of external considerations in the shaping of the Halakhah and its decision makers? Can the tools of Sociology and Anthropology enrich our understanding of the Halakhic process? In examining these questions the authors deal with the Philosophy of the Halakhah through critical but also normative lenses. This book lays before the readers the cutting edge of research in Philosophy of Halakhah, and it gives the reader a fascinating point of entry into philosophical-Halakhic discourse.
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Aristotelian Logic and Talmudic Methodology
Aristotelian Logic and Talmudic Methodology
The Application of Aristotelian Logic to the Interpretation of the Thirteen Hermeneutic Principles
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This book analyzes the influence that Aristotelian logic had on the understanding of methods of halakhic inference. “Methods of halakhic inference” refer to methods of Talmudic inference and argumentation, mainly the thirteen exegetical principles of the Torah, enumerated at the beginning of the Sifra. The thirteen exegetical principles are the most famous methods of halakhic inference. They are considered basic and fundamental rules by which the oral halakhic tradition is related to the Scriptures. No wonder, therefore, that there are dozens of commentaries to this set of rules. The study presented in this book focuses on the logical trend of commentaries on the Thirteen Principles. In these commentaries Aristotelian logic was applied, in a variety of ways. This special way of combining philosophy and halakha has significance not only for the history of the development of Talmudic methodology, but also for the understanding of the ongoing interaction between particular Jewish ideas and tradition on the one hand, and the external “universal” culture and literature on the other. Analysis of the logical commentaries on the Thirteen Principles can demonstrate how the original Greek doctrines were transmitted, mainly through Arabic philosophy, but sometimes also through Christian-scholastic philosophy, to the medieval Jewish sages, and how these Jewish sages applied those doctrines to develop a more sophisticated Talmudic methodology.
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The Gateway to Modern Art
The Gateway to Modern Art
Art in the Nineteenth Century - A Sourcebook
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How did Monet really paint his series? What influence did the writings of Kant, Goethe, and Rousseau, or the art criticism of Baudelaire and Zola, have on nineteenth-century artists? Did you know that Renoir also wrote art theory? How did women artists, such as Morisot and Cassatt, struggle against social barriers? How were the lives of the artists expressed in their works? This book answers these questions and much more about the art of the nineteenth century, the cradle of modern art, a century rich in innovations both in art theory, philosophy and in the ideas of writers with whom the artists held a fruitful dialogue. By means of these theories, the author analyzes the principles of the three main movements that developed simultaneously at the beginning of the century: the idealism that ruled the Neo-Classical school and is found in the paintings of David and Ingres; the subjectivism of Romanticism that is revealed in the landscapes of Friedrich and Turner, in the highly expressive works of Goya and Delacroix and in the sculpture of Rodin; and Naturalism's interest in present-day life that is displayed in the landscapes of Constable and Corot and in the figure paintings of Millet and Courbet. This last movement was developed by Manet, Degas, Monet, and Renoir into Impressionism in the second half of the century. The book concludes with an analysis of the many different styles that were current at the end of the century in the art of Seurat, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Redon, and Munch. The texts in the book illuminate the art works that were the gateway to modern art in a new light. These texts are translated into Hebrew – for the most part for the first time – while conserving the writing style of each author. Each chapter is accompanied by an introduction and explanatory footnotes. A book for artists, lovers of art, teachers, and students.
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Thinking About Thanking
Thinking About Thanking
A Philosophical Theory of Gratitude
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This book deals with being grateful and with the moral status of gratitude. It claims that gratitude is a moral obligation of great importance, being the right response to something done for the agent and out of regard for her. The more is done for her, the more grateful she should be. And yet, it seems that whoever is doing something out of regard for us is expecting nothing in return. Gratitude thus becomes a paradoxical obligation: the recipient of the favor owes something to the giver, which the giver does not want. Sometimes the recipient does not want it either. He is attached to it unwillingly, trying to rid himself of it if he only could. Can he? And how are his attempts to do so connected to being ungrateful? This book analyses such cases, and juxtaposes them with cases of full and happy gratitude. I claim that children's gratitude towards their parents is the paradigm case of full gratitude. But how can children show their gratitude? What should they do? Can one really do enough to thank another for upbringing one and shaping her into who she is? This is a philosophical book, presenting and criticizing philosophical analyses of gratitude, from Seneca to Kant, and from Kant to modern thinkers. But among its heros you will also find Dickens's Pip of "Great Expectations," Rabi Hia, Rabi and a Koves (washer) from the Talmud, key figures of psychological and sociological thinking, Jean Valjean and Javert of Hugo's "Les Miserables," and a construction and development company selling shares at the stock exchange.
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The Battle for the Land
The Battle for the Land
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In 1901, the Zionist Organization founded the Jewish National Fund to purchase lands in the Land of Israel and transfer them to the ownership of the Jewish people. The book before us examines and summarizes the JNF's land purchasing policies and endeavors, from the establishment of the Fund to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. A major part of this essay centers on the period from 1936 to 1948, which were the most important years of the JNF's activities and during which it became almost the sole Jewish entity promoting this aspect of the building of the land of Israel. During these years, the JNF purchased about 600,000 dunams, which constitute more than 60% of its acquisitions from its establishment to the establishment of the State. The pivotal nature of the JNF during those years stems first and foremost from the recognition of its settlement endeavors by the top institutions of the Zionist Organization, in promoting the political interests of the Zionist movement in the land of Israel. The creation of actual real property owned by the Jewish people which also served as a foundation for settlement was a prerequisite for achieving a Jewish state. Under it's articles of association, the lands purchased by the JNF cannot be sold. They were leased for the purpose of establishing agricultural and urban settlements and subsequently, the State of Israel applied this principle to all its lands (about 20.5 million dunams), of which JNF lands now constitute about 13%.
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In Three Landscapes
In Three Landscapes
Leah Goldberg's Early Writings
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This book explores a cultural project pursued by Lea Goldberg in the first decade after her immigration to Eretz-Israel. It argues that during this formative period in her literary biography, Goldberg’s writings addressed issues of cultural memory and cultural translation. The reason for this epistemic and aesthetic focus in her early work, as the book demonstrates, is to be found in Goldberg’s experience of immigration as well as in her deep sense of responsibility for the preservation of European culture endangered by the outbreak of World War II. The significance of this constitutive chapter in Goldberg’s œvre had been almost entirely overlooked by researchers to date . The book presents a first systematic account of all of the channels of Goldberg’s literary activity in the first decade, novelistic writing, poetry, publicist and essayist writings, as well as of her translations, thus offering a new understanding of Lea Goldberg not only as a poet but also as a public intellectual. Furthermore, by interpreting her writings through the comparative lens and concentrating on Goldberg’s multi-layered dialogue with Russian and German literatures, the book suggests viewing her literary work within the frame of European modernism, which she sought to translate into the space of Hebrew literature. Drawing on Mikhail Bakhtin’s view of genres as “organs of memory”, each of the chapters focuses on a different genre in Goldberg’s writing and presents it as a conscious effort to realize in her Hebrew literary works the potential of European cultural memory .
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The Stage as a Temporary Home
The Stage as a Temporary Home
On Dzigan and Shumacher's Theater (1927-1980)
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The Stage as a Temporary Home : On Dzigan and Shumacher's Theater (1927-1980) has been designated as the winner of the prestigious Shapiro Award for 2019 for the best book in Israel Studies The Stage as a Temporary Home takes us through the fascinating stages in the life and career of the duo Shimen Dzigan and Isroel Shumacher , over the course of half a century - from the beginning of their work at the Ararat avant-garde Yiddish theater in Łodz, Poland, and to their Warsaw theater, where they produced bold, groundbreaking political satire. The book further discusses their wanderings through the Soviet Union during the Second World War and their attempt to revive Jewish culture in Poland after the Holocaust, and finally describes their arrival in Israel, first as guest performers and later as permanent residents. Despite the restrictions on Yiddish actors in Israel, the duo insisted on performing in their own language and succeeded in translating the new Israeli reality into unique and timely satire. In the 1950s, they voiced a political and cultural critique of a kind that was not heard on any of the Hebrew stages. After they parted ways, and following the death of Shumacher in 1961, Dzigan continued to perform on his own and with other Israeli artists until his death in 1980 . The book is based on rare recordings, transcriptions, programs, personal diaries, letters, photographs, oral testimonies, and critical articles, all of which come together to create the first critical portrait of this extraordinary duo. The book also examines their art, the connection between theater and politics, and the complex relationship between majority culture and minority language . The study includes several valuable indexes: of titles of programs and plays, of the artists who participated in them, of writers and the drafts they wrote, of actors and the programs in which they participated, and a general name index. The book also includes a facsimile of the manuscript Der Nayer Dybbuk [The New Dybbuk]. Click here for the English edition, published by De Gruyter in collaboration with Magnes Press
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And Before Honor – Humility
And Before Honor – Humility
The Ideal of Humility in the Moral Language of the Sages
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And before Honor – Humility investigates the moral-spiritual ideal of humility in rabbinic literature, a topic which has until now not been the subject of critical inquiry. Four sugyot (topics of discussion) stand at the center of the inquiry: haughtiness of spirit and lowliness of spirit, the humility of the Holy One blessed is He, humility and irascibility, and the ineluctable tension between the honor of Torah and human dignity. Shmuel Lewis presents a theoretical framework and interpretive approach that fit the unique nature of rabbinic literature and uncover a philosophical layer of thought in texts that have been considered until now merely didactic. His readings tack between close textual investigation and broad conceptual analysis in search of the mutual relations between social conceptions and world pictures. By means of comparison with parallel mutual relations in ancient Greek thought the connections between social conceptions, world pictures and moral ideals comes into view in both moral languages – the biblical-rabbinic and the Greek. The cosmological aspect is approached in the context of the biblical world picture as developed by the Sages in contrast to the Greek kosmos , the social aspect in the context of the beit midrash of the Sages and their relations with people outside their own enclave. The study makes frequent use of anthropological research and applies philosophical methods of social science. This multifaceted approach allows for an overarching view that uncovers surprising meanings in the sources and presents them with a conceptual depth that invites dialogue with parallel discussions in western philosophical discourse.
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Biblical and Talmudic Medicine
Biblical and Talmudic Medicine
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Translation:
The book Biblisch- talmudische Medizin , first published in Berlin, in 1911, is a unique life's work bringing together a comprehensive knowledge in medicine, Jewish and general sources. The various chapters include a broad review of the world of medicine in the Bible and the Talmud in light of Jewish law, a detailed description of the biological organs, diseases of body and mind, deformities, gynecological and sexual. There are chapters on legal medicine, preventative medicine, health cures and dietetics. The material is also based on in-depth study of Bible, Mishnah, Talmudic and Rabbinic literature, Midrash, the External Books, the works of Joseph Ben Matityahu, the New Testament, as well as ancient and modern legal literature, Likewise illuminating sources from Greek and Latin literature, western medical literature, referencing hundreds of publications from the eighteen and nineteen hundreds were used. The writer Dr. Julius Preuss (1861-1913) was born in a small town in Prussia, in which his parents' house was the only Jewish family. He studied medicine in Berlin and was close to the orthodox Jewish community, where he acquired much of his extensive knowledge in Judaism. Over the years Preuss published over thirty articles on medicine and Judaism in various scientific journals, all the while maintaining a medical practice in the town of his birth and afterward in Berlin. He passed away two years after publishing his book in German, based on his articles. Preuss' book was translated into English by Dr. Fred Rosner (Biblical and Talmudic Medicine ) and was published in the United State in 1978. At a conference on Jewish and medical law, which took place in Jerusalem in 1998, the book was quoted and it was indicated that a translation into Hebrew was sorely needed. The translator into Hebrew, Uri Wurzburger , remained loyal to the original German, at the same time expanding the quoted references appearing in the book and adding modern interpretations.
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Human, All Too Human
Human, All Too Human
A Book for Free Spirits
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Translation:
The book breaks with Nietzsche's previous essay style (as in The Birth of Tragedy). It is a collection of aphorisms, largely concerned with human psychology. He criticizes social Darwinism in it: Wherever progress is to ensue, deviating natures are of greatest importance. Every progress of the whole must be preceded by a partial weakening. The strongest natures retain the type, the weaker ones help to advance it. Something similar also happens in the individual. There is rarely a degeneration, a truncation, or even a vice or any physical or moral loss without an advantage somewhere else. In a warlike and restless clan, for example, the sicklier man may have occasion to be alone, and may therefore become quieter and wiser; the one-eyed man will have one eye the stronger; the blind man will see deeper inwardly, and certainly hear better. To this extent, the famous theory of the survival of the fittest does not seem to me to be the only viewpoint from which to explain the progress of strengthening of a man or of a race.§224 Nietzsche also distinguishes in this work the obscurantism of the metaphysicians and theologians from the more subtle obscurantism of Kant's critical philosophy and modern philosophical skepticism, claiming that obscurantism is that which obscures existence rather than obscures ideas alone: "The essential element in the black art of obscurantism is not that it wants to darken individual understanding but that it wants to blacken our picture of the world, and darken our idea of existence" (Vol. II, Part 1, 27).
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