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Stranger in a Strange Land

Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem
Lu par : David Stifel
Durée : 16 h et 50 min
Prix : 29,66 €
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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.

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. He vividly conjures Scholem's upbringing in Berlin and compellingly brings to life Scholem's transformative friendship with Walter Benjamin, the critic and philosopher. 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 counterforces to Europe's suicidal nationalism.

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. Prochnik ultimately suggests that a new form of ecological pluralism must now inherit the historically energizing role once played by Kabbalah and Zionism in Jewish thought.

©2016 George Prochnik (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tadish Durbin
  • 05/03/2019

A truly compelling tale

The story of Gershom Sholem is of tremendous value. He is a towering figure of 20th century Jewish spiritual thought. His contribution is being understood more and more, and I was so grateful for the fully detailed picture of his life.
I was also very engaged with the author's story, and how he wove it into Sholem's narrative.

That said, the reader should have made an effort to attempt to pronounce Hebrew names, words, and places more accurately. It was totally obnoxious that the reader mispronounced the name 'Gershom'. There is no ambiguity that the name is pronounced with an 'sh'. In the Torah, the name is clearly spelled with the letter Shin, yet the reader pronounced it as though it was spelled with a Sin or Samek.

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