Stranger in a strange land searching for gershom scholem and jerusalem. Nonfiction Book Review: Stranger in a Strange Land: Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem by George Prochnik. Other Press, $27.95 (528p) ISBN 978 2019-03-01

Stranger in a strange land searching for gershom scholem and jerusalem Rating: 8,4/10 644 reviews

Stranger in a Strange Land : Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem, Har... 9781590517765

stranger in a strange land searching for gershom scholem and jerusalem

He hoped for a binational state in Palestine, an idealistic aspiration frustrated by both Jewish and Arab nationalism…a stimulating examination of the struggles of both men to reconcile their idealism with reality. This is a powerful must-read for anyone interested in how people of faith struggle to live in the real world. Sections of these two tales alternate, creating a meaningful counterpoint, for they are really variations on the same story. Prochnik fretted about money and his family's safety. The ensuing tension between the spiritual and political coupled with his consummate scholarship placed him at the center of the early intellectual foment leading to the founding of modern Eretz Israel.

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Stranger in a Strange Land : Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem, Har... 9781590517765

stranger in a strange land searching for gershom scholem and jerusalem

I learned quite a bit of detailed history that is of interest to me today. Prochnik sought out Jewish tradition precisely because he understood it as a wellspring of energy—sparks he could use to power up a life disconnected from an deeper source of meaning. And what was the teaching? He vividly conjures Scholem's upbringing in Berlin, and compellingly brings to life Scholem's transformative friendship with Walter Benjamin, the critic and philosopher. What part of this was learned? I found the account of Gershon in Germany Gerhart Scholem's early intellectual life fascinating. A combination biography and personal account.

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Nonfiction Book Review: Stranger in a Strange Land: Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem by George Prochnik. Other Press, $27.95 (528p) ISBN 978

stranger in a strange land searching for gershom scholem and jerusalem

Torah is the transmission of God and divine things. Sections of these two tales alternate, creating a meaningful counterpoint, for they are really variations on the same story. Readers may feel a kind of relief when eventually Scholem goes to Palestine and Benjamin does not join him. Taking his lead from his subject, Gershom Scholem--the 20th century thinker who cracked open Jewish theology and history with a radical reading of Kabbalah--Prochnik combines biography and memoir to counter our contemporary political crisis with an original and urgent reimagining of the future of Israel. What does it mean to leave home in order to go home? At that time Prochnik and his family were living in Lower Manhattan and their four sons were in school on that crystal clear day in September. The result is an immersive, passionate work that is really two books spliced together.

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Stranger in a Strange Land

stranger in a strange land searching for gershom scholem and jerusalem

Sections of these two tales alternate, creating a meaningful counterpoint, for they are really variations on the same story. From the abyss of our despair, Prochnik manages to do what so few others can: imagine a future of living together. The genius of George Prochnik, in his new book Stranger in a Strange Land: Searching for Gershom Scholem in Jerusalem, is that he surfaces this subtext and makes it his explicit subject. What makes it a unique and brilliant contribution to current debates about Palestine is that in his reading of Scholem, Prochnik finds simultaneously both the echoes of the forces—messianic, national, and colonial—that keep tearing the region apart, and also the kernel of something precious to be salvaged. What makes it a unique and brilliant contribution to current debates about Palestine is that in his reading of Scholem, Prochnik finds simultaneously both the echoes of the forces--messianic, national, and colonial--that keep tearing the region apart, and also the kernel of something precious to be salvaged.

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Stranger in a Strange Land: Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem

stranger in a strange land searching for gershom scholem and jerusalem

In Stranger in a Strange Land , Prochnik revisits the life and work of Gershom Scholem, whose once prominent reputation, as a Freud-like interpreter of the inner world of the Cosmos, has been in eclipse in the United States. From the abyss of our despair, Prochnik manages to do what so few others can: imagine a future of living together. Prochnik vividly renders his own journey to define his relationship to Judaism. In Stranger in a Strange Land, George Prochnik revisits the life and work of Gershom Scholem, whose once prominent reputation, as a Freud-like interpreter of the inner world of the cosmos, has faded in the United States. What makes it a unique and brilliant contribution to current debates about Palestine is that in his reading of Scholem, Prochnik finds simultaneously both the echoes of the forces—messianic, national, and colonial—that keep tearing the region apart, and also the kernel of something precious to be salvaged. Prochnik's own years in the Holy Land in the 1990s brings him to question the stereotypical intellectual and theological constructs of Jerusalem, and to rediscover the city as a physical place, rife with the unruliness and fecundity of nature.

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Stranger in a strange land : searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem (Book, 2016) [getu.com]

stranger in a strange land searching for gershom scholem and jerusalem

Prochnik's own years in the Holy Land in the 1990s brings him to question the stereotypical intellectual and theological constructs of Jerusalem, and to rediscover the city as a physical place, rife with the unruliness and fecundity of nature. Unlike Scholem, he ultimately found that the place where he was born felt more like home than the Jewish homeland—which is in part a testimony to the difference between Germany and the United States. Prochnik revisits the life and work of Gershom Scholem, whose once prominent reputation, as a Freud-like interpreter of the inner world of the Cosmos, has been in eclipse in the United States. What he wanted was a messianic transformation of the Jewish essence, compared to which building a Jewish state looked like a sordid compromise. Prochnik's self-imposed exile in the Holy Land in the 1990s brings him to question the stereotypical intellectual and theological constructs of Jerusalem, and to rediscover the city as a physical place, rife with the unruliness and fecundity of nature. A Jew is someone who wonders what it means to be a Jew.

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Stranger in a strange land : searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem (eBook, 2016) [getu.com]

stranger in a strange land searching for gershom scholem and jerusalem

And in what kind of world? This is a deeply felt work of critique and elegy, a probing examination of the subject of our time: the temptations, and the dangers, of belonging. What makes it a unique and brilliant contribution to current debates about Palestine is that in his reading of Scholem, Prochnik finds simultaneously both the echoes of the forces--messianic, national, and colonial--that keep tearing the region apart, and also the kernel of something precious to be salvaged. A vision that was to bring about a rebirth of the Jewish people. Gerhard Scholem, who would become the famous scholar of the Kabbalah Gershom Scholem, upheld a cultural version of Zionism, and spoke of the need for Arab-Jewish coexistence; yet over time he accommodated himself to the often brutal practices of the Jewish state, which turned Palestinians into strangers in their own land. George Prochnik has produced a book of remarkable erudition and emotional depth that plays the life and thinking of Gershom Scholem against his own. Gerhard Scholem, who would become the famous scholar of the Kabbalah Gershom Scholem, upheld a cultural version of Zionism, and spoke of the need for Arab—Jewish coexistence; yet over time he accommodated himself to the often brutal practices of the Jewish state, which turned Palestinians into strangers in their own land. The extraordinary affinities between author and subject give the book an emotional intensity that complements its erudition and lends power to its final, audacious, inspiring claim on the reader''s capacity for hope.

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Stranger in a Strange Land: Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem by George Prochnik

stranger in a strange land searching for gershom scholem and jerusalem

This is a powerful must-read for anyone interested in how people of faith struggle to live in the real world. Yet Prochnik never obtrudes; rather, his beautiful sentences guide us, gently but surely, through both the often-complex thinking of his subjects and the often-traumatic events of their lives. This is a deeply felt work of critique and elegy, a probing examination of the subject of our time: the temptations, and the dangers, of belonging. In doing so, he reveals how Scholem's frustration with the bourgeois ideology of Germany during the First World War led him to discover Judaism, Kabbalah, and finally Zionism, as potent counter-forces to Europe s suicidal nationalism. I found the account of Gershon in Germany Gerhart Scholem's early intellectual life fascinating.

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