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

by George Prochnik

rating: 4.4 (8 reviews)


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Gershom Scholem, the great humanist thinker and founder of modern Kabalah, is all but forgotten today. But here, in a biography as daring and inquisitive as its subject, George Prochnik goes in search of Scholem, restoring the reputation of a vital intellectual and finding in his work a vision with the power to reinvigorate contemporary religious and political thought.

Tracing Scholem's life from his upbringing in Berlin, where he experienced a close and transformative friendship with Walter Benjamin, Prochnik reveals how Scholem's frustration with the bourgeois ideology of Germany during WWI led him to discover mystic Judaism, Kabbalah, and, finally, Zionism. But having emigrated to what was to become Israel, Scholem again found himself a 'stranger in a strange land', ill at ease with a prevailing conservative form of Zionism.

Prochnik follows Scholem to the modern Holy Land - only to find that he too is disillusioned by the state politics he encounters. But through his profound study of Scholem and his own experience of Jerusalem, Prochnik not only questions the ideological and religious constructs of Jerusalem, but finds an ethical way forward, showing how a new form of pluralism might energize Jewish thought.



Details:
rank:
price: $15.80
bound: 501 pages
publisher: Granta Books (March 23, 2017)
lang: English
asin: B0728KB2TD
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weight:
filesize: 9098 KB

















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Stranger in a Strange Land: Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem
Go to Home Page Site Index The New York Times Site Index Navigation News World U.SA state-by-state look at where Generation Y stands on the big issuesAdvertisement Continue reading the main story Scholem believed that by plucking the knowledge of kabbalah from the moribund pious community that had abandoned it and feeding it to secular Zionists, he could help fuel the movements drive toward independence and historical responsibility, Prochnik writes, explaining that Scholem believed it could be used to develop a more explosive, polymorphous perspective on Jewish historyThe second is a personal memoir, in which Prochnik describes his own experience of moving from America to Israel, where he lived and raised a family for more than a decade, and then moving back againWe were studying Talmud, and I was trying to understand the comprehensive, obsessive inquiry into questions from the minuscule and seemingly pedestrian are the water cisterns adjacent to a house included in the price of its sale? to the transcendent, like what is the nature of God.Jewish time is circular, so we work to make things perfect for the next time around, he replied, before adding world-wearily: Also, we dont believe in perfection.If youre interested in experiencing the complex mix of thoughts and emotions I felt in that moment challenged and stymied, satisfied and frustrated, amused, annoyed, tingling with a sensation so unnerving you might even call it hope then pick up Stranger in a Strange Land: Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem, a new book by George Prochnik.

CloseFor many, Scholems writings became JudaismHe was repelled by what he called traditional national Jewish theology, but his life-work centered on the effort to revivify a vast corpus of religious ideas, partly to make Jews aware of their power to reimagine and seize control of their destinyFacebook Twitter Reddit StumbleUpon Digg Most Read 1 Opinion The problem with But Trumps base loves it! 2 Opinion CNNs Jeffrey Lord outdoes himself in defending Trumps CNN-beating tweet 3 Opinion If this scam works as planned, Republicans could still destroy Obamacare 4 Opinion Why Trump wants a war on the media 5 Perspective The Declaration of Independence, as read by President Trump INDEPENDENCE DAY SPECIAL Get 1 year of digital access for $99$79 Subscribe today Our Online Games Play right from this page Mahjongg Dimensions Strategy game Mahjongg Candy Strategy game Word Wipe Word game opinions Success! Check your inbox for detailsHe vividly recreates Scholems upbringing in Berlin and brings to life Scholems transformative friendship with Walter Benjamin, the critic and philosopherMore about badges Request a badge Weather Watcher Badge Weather Watchers consistently offer thought-provoking, timely comments on climates and forecastsThe politics and the religion and the philosophy and the family and the children and the Palestinians and the Jews all played musical chairs around a vanishing table, until the last chair burst into flame and we were hurtling through a black vacuum and away from each other, he writes.During the years before and after the ultimately failed Oslo Accords, Prochnik becomes maddening, perhaps even mad a student of complexity plummeting into a state of dialectical disintegration, as Scholem once noted of his friend Walter BenjaminGeorge Prochnik aims to change this with his book Stranger in a Strange Land: Searching for Gershom Scholem and JerusalemMicielle marked it as to-read Jan 01, 2017

He studies religion and literature at Harvard Divinity SchoolNews Obituaries Book Deals Financial Reporting Page to Screen Bookselling Awards & Prizes Publisher News Comics Business Deals Shows & Events Cooking People Religion Audio Books Manufacturing Marketing PW Tip Sheet Licensing Book It BookExpo Reviews Fiction Nonfiction Children's Religion Comics Audio Web Exclusive BookLife Bestsellers Audiobooks Australia Overall Bio/Autobiography Children's Frontlist Fiction Children's Picture Books Cookbooks Fantasy Graphic Novels Hardcover Fiction Hardcover Nonfiction History Mass Market Mystery/Detective New Zealand Overall Religion Fiction Religion Nonfiction Romance Sci-Fi Top 10 Overall Trade Paper UK Overall Children's Authors Book News Industry News Authors Profiles Interviews Why I Write BookLife MFA Announcements Adult Announcements Children's Announcements Religion Listings On-Sale Calendar Galley Talk Digital Devices Copyright Retailing Conferences Content / e-books Apps The Roundup International Deals Book News Trade Shows Frankfurt Book Fair London Book Fair Job ZoneJob Moves Opinion ShelfTalker Soapbox Common Core Thank you! Youll get the first email of recommendations from our critics within a week! BummerYou must select a newsletter to subscribe toPub Date:March 21st, 2017ISBN:978-1-59051-776-5Page count:480ppPublisher:Other PressReview Posted Online: Dec.26th,2016Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan.15th,2017 More Biography & Memoir>More Non-Fiction>MORE BY GEORGE PROCHNIKNonfictionTHE IMPOSSIBLE EXILE by George Prochnik NonfictionIN PURSUIT OF SILENCE by George Prochnik NonfictionPUTNAM CAMP by George Prochnik SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:NonfictionWALTER BENJAMIN by Momme Brodersen NonfictionTHE CORRESPONDENCE OF WALTER BENJAMIN, 1910-1940 by Walter Benjamin NonfictionTHE PITY OF IT ALL by Amos Elon NonfictionON THE POSSIBILITY OF JEWISH MYSTICISM IN OUR TIME by Gershom Scholem Rabbi rated it liked it May 01, 2017 NYTimes.com no longer supports Internet Explorer 9 or earlierWe would love to hear from youAnka Muhlstein, New York Review of Books GeorgeProchnik Related Posts Stranger in a Strange Land: George Prochnik in the NewYorker

At 27, Prochnik, a budding writer and scholar, and his young wife, Anne herself similarly moved by Judaism made their way to a diverse neighborhood in Jerusalem, where they set about creating a life.Along for the ride, at least metaphorically, was Prochniks muse: Gershom Scholem, the Jewish philosopher credited with establishing the modern academic study of kabbalahIf paused, you'll be notified of the number of additional comments that have come inIndeed, the last 20 pages beam with light a radiant justification of the preceding darkness that comes close to, well, perfectPublishers Weekly (starred review) Astimulating examination of the struggles of Gershom Scholem and Prochnikto reconcile their idealism with reality.Booklist Melding biography and memoir, National Jewish Book Award winner Prochnik (The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World, 2014, etc.) examines the life and work of Gershom Scholem (1897-1982), philological archaeologist of the mystical roots of Judaism Prochnik vividly renders his own journey to define his relationship to Judaism [a] candid testament of two men passionately trying to revive and reimagine Judaism.Kirkus Reviews On this spiritual journey, writer Prochnik&traces the intellectual and mystical arc of Gershom Scholem, the German-born Israeli philosopher who advanced theories of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticismcomplex and intricatefor readers drawn to Jewish mysticism and Jewish messianism and those interested in Prochniks peregrinations in the footsteps of Scholem, Sabbatai Zevi, and Theodore Herzl.Library Journal Prochnik is possessed of an agile, probing mind, and in his latest, he applies it to understanding the life of Gershom Sholem, intellectual mystic and friend to Walter Benjamin, devotee of the Kabbalah and devoted Zionist.Literary Hub Booksby Jewish writers on Jewish topics usually carry a heavy personal subtext&what does it mean to be a Jewformeto be a Jew?& The genius of George Prochnik, in his new bookStranger in a Strange Land: Searching for Gershom Scholem in Jerusalem, is that he surfaces this subtext and makes it his explicit subjectIn his powerful new book,Prochnikoffers us a portrait of a Berlin Jew, fifteen years Zweigs junior, who made a very different choice: to renounce the dream of a liberal Europe and remake himself, and his people, in Palestine Subscribe to Pro Connect Be the first to discover new talent! Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alertAbout Us Contact Us Submission Guidelines Subscriber Services Advertising Info Terms of Use Privacy Policy Calls for Info Editorial Calendar Archives Press FAQ PWxyz, LLCSign up Youre all set! See all newsletters true :: test Get 1 year digital access for $99$79 Subscribe today Comments Share on FacebookShare Share on TwitterTweet Share via Email Show Comments Discussion Policy Comments SuperFan Badge SuperFan badge holders consistently post smart, timely comments about Washington area sports and teamsA version of this review appears in print on May 7, 2017, on Page BR23 of the Sunday Book Review with the headline: Along for the RideIf you do, you accept that there is something uncontrollable about it even, perhaps, within you 48a4f088c3

GEORGE PROCHNIK: Well, thats unbelievably generous.ZH - (George Prochnik),George Prochniks essays, poetry, and fiction have appeared in numerous journals. He has taught English and American literature at Hebrew University in Jerusalem .
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