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JUDAISM BY EXISTENTIALIST LIGHT / היהדות לאור הפילוסופיה האכסיסטנציאלית

יעקב פליישמן and J. FLEISCHMANN
Iyyun: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly / עיון: רבעון פילוסופי
כרך ב‎', חוברת ד‎' (תשרי תשי"ב), pp. 224-238
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23299255
Page Count: 15
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JUDAISM BY EXISTENTIALIST LIGHT / היהדות לאור הפילוסופיה האכסיסטנציאלית
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Abstract

J.-P. Sartre's "Réflexions sur la Question Juive" is examined in relation to his general philosophy and the basic principles of Existentialism. The philosophical-psychanalytic approach of Sartre to antisemitism, as well as to the Jewish problem in general, ends in radical but objective conclusions. The Israeli reader is tempted to ask wether Sartre in this book has broadened the perspective of Jewish self-understanding. His basic position in philosophy, i. e. the phenomenalism which is opposed to any kind of substantial approach to history, is the same as that postulated by Jewish existentialists, such as Rosenzweig, who tried to understand Jewish history as the historicity of the Jewish man. One can agree with Mr. Sartre that the decisions of the authentic and non-authentic Jews have their origin in a social and not historical situation. Jewish rationalism and universalism seem to assume this fact. This may also account for the transition of the traditional religious factor to the pre-logical and emotional sphere. The concept of the "pre-logical" — first used by Max Wiener in connection with Jewish religious life of the 19th century— can be fruitful for the explanation of some facts in Jewish intellectual history and for enlargement of the horizon of Jewish self-understanding. The dialectical approach which helps Sartre explain some aspects of Jewish social life has many implications for Israeli society, which can be considered "authentic" in the Sartrian sense of the word.

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