Essays in Jewish Thought

Essays in Jewish Thought

Essays in Jewish Thought

Essays in Jewish Thought


The impetus for this volume came from some of my former students, most of whom now occupy professorships in Judaic studies throughout the United States. Reluctantly and not without trepidation I agreed to the suggestion and herewith offer samples of studies and articles written in the course of several years.

The selection manifests several areas that have occupied my scholarly and literary interest: some aspects of rabbinic literature (the changing attitude toward Rome, the problem of biblical prophecy, the concept of peace, the concept of sacrifice, the personality of Hillel); an attempt to understand the Book of Job and its place in midrashic interpretation; the Zion motif in medieval literature; the life and thought of Leopold Zunz and the beginning of modern Jewish studies; the Judaic strain in Franz Kafka's reflections on the human condition; some of the concerns of Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig; an account of the Frankfurt Lehrhaus. Inclusion of articles written in German was ruled out as impractical; of Hebrew essays only one is presented: an attempt to interpret the last year in the life of Rosenzweig.

Thanks are due to the publishers and editors for their permission to reprint copyrighted materials; to Professor Alexander Altmann for his encouragement; to Professor Leon J.Weinberger, general editor, Judaic Studies, The University of Alabama Press, for his gracious help in planning and producing this volume; and, finally, to my wife, beloved companion since Frankfurt days, who in understanding and devotion -- though occasional protest -- made my rather arduous schedule of work possible.


Boston University

October, 1976 . . .

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