June 16 is Bloomsday, the day when Leopold Bloom, the Jewish-descended protagonist of James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses,” took his quasi-Homeric one-day odyssey through Dublin. It’s the day when Dubliners and Joyce’s fans throughout the world celebrate the legacy of the great Irish novelist, whose protagonist transcends all cultural and temporal borders while remaining both Irish and Jewish.
Last December, 300 Israeli rabbis, many of them employees of the state, signed a declaration forbidding Jews to sell or rent property to non-Jews. For some of them, the move was inspired by the philosophy of Isaac Halevi Herzog (1888–1959), one of the main modern proponents of a “halachic state” run according to the tenets of Jewish law. Herzog was the first chief rabbi of the State of Israel, as well as the father of the sixth Israeli president, Chaim Herzog, and the grandfather of the current Labor Knesset member, Isaac Herzog. But during his lifetime he was also known by a different title, albeit a less formal one: the Sinn Féin Rebbe, in honor of the Irish nationalist movement he supported.
A new translation of Gustav Landauer’s “Revolution and Other Writings: A Political Reader” by Gabriel Kuhn brings his highly influential texts to an English-speaking audience. Landauer is known not only as a revolutionary, but also as a prominent mystical philosopher, a literary critic and a translator. The Forvert’s Yoel Matveev spoke to Kuhn about Landauer, his legacy and his appeal.