“The Gershom Scholem I knew was a writer — I didn’t know much about him as a person.”
Gershom Scholem, eminent scholar of Jewish mysticism, is the subject of George Prochnik’s latest book, “Stranger in a Strange Land.”
Crossposted from Haaretz
Many years ago, while researching German supporters of Holocaust reparations, I went in search of information on the social-democratic politician Kurt Schumacher. I found what I was looking for, but right next to Schumacher’s listing in an encyclopedia was a surprise: “Scholem, Werner, * 29.12.1895 Berlin, † 17.7.1940 KZ Buchenwald; konfessionslos.”
The friendship between the great kabbalist Gershom Scholem and the political scientist Hannah Arendt famously foundered in the 1960s after a disagreement over Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” an account, of the trial of the Nazi war criminal.
Arts and culture editor Dan Friedman interviewed award-winning poet and author Rodger Kamenetz, whose new book about his physical and spiritual pilgrimage, “Burnt Books: Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav and Franz Kafka” (Schocken/Nextbook), charts a path between literature and religion. The Arty Semite is now featuring excerpts and reviews from Kamenetz’s Psalm 151 series.