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The Place of Man in the Philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig © Part: 2 By: Dr. Zadok Krouz

מאת: krouz zadokפילוסופיה25/02/20111711 צפיות שתף בטוויטר |   שתף בפייסבוק

Man’s place is part of the changing dynamic within the framework of the dialogue.

Dr. Zadok Krouz

          Place is in the dynamic movement of the changing experience of life, never still, always flowing. Experience is a sort of sharpening of the consciousness at the particular moment of gaining experience and leading to the experience. In Star of Redemption, from the beginning, the experience of the senses was placed prior to all the facts of the actual experience “…experience knows nothing…it remembers experiences” (Naharayim 227). We find in the dynamic movement a motion of the actual subject toward the surroundings, and not a transfer of the surroundings to the domain of life. The place of man is woven and consolidated by movement to the surroundings, and the more he leaves the surroundings in their physical place, the more he tends towards its ideal direction: “In the old philosophy, ‘thinking’ means thinking for no one else and speaking to no one else…but ‘speaking’ means speaking to some one and thinking for some one” (Naharayim 231). In the old philosophy, physical place means to think for no man and to speak for no man. Thus there is no movement, no physical movement; everything is silent and standing. There is no partner and there is no experiential, eventful activity of reaction; there is only thought which calculates the power of relationship in the physical place of ideal direction.

          The experience forms the place of man since it is located in surroundings, as it is in life. Man’s place is individual and occurs within the surroundings; man’s place is a personal place. For to speak means to speak to someone (personally) and to think about something (in a personal manner). Man’s place changes and renews

itself constantly since this place is linked inexorably to time. Since the existential experience constantly renews the place of man (Naharayim 233; Star 148), the existential is not a one-time phenomenon, but a process which continues and does not cease within man. It acts in him and moves him to redeem the world, all of humanity (Naharayim 230), and man merits, by means of the occurrence of the existential present, “relation of the Almighty, for “to know God-world-man means what they do or was done to them in these times of reality…” (Naharayim 230). Man’s place as part of dynamic movement is found also in the philosophy of Abraham J. Heschel. Heschel’s philosophy of religion is also based on the living and dynamic relationship between God and man. In his book, God in Search of Man, revelation is the dialogue in which the prophet is the dynamic facet and biblical scriptures are an echo both of revelation and the response to it (Friedman, “The Philosophy of Heschel” 2:400-426).

          In order for this dynamic to occur, the place of man must be within the framework of dialogue, which requires him to use the word “you,” which is second person singular used in time present. Reality in its complete meaning is acquired only by dialogue with another, whose identity or identities will be made clear below. Man commences dialogue only when hearing others calling to him by name, such as “I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine” (Isa. 43:1; Star 214), and he answers—he is born anew. In the proper name, man is born again, for he is of the moment, “it is of its own category,” and therefore the birth of his name is renewed always in the midpoint of the world “in the beginning of time” (Star 218). “The lover who says ‘Thou art mine’ to the beloved is aware of having begotten the beloved in his love and given birth to her in travail” (Star 215).  The call by name is accompanied by “you are mine,” in which man recalls his status in the universe on the basis of his place (Star 207). This dialogue is as simple as it sounds—speech or conversation employing all the facets of living language. Does not “man” (“Adam”) in gematria equal “what” (“mah”)? And “what” (in Hebrew) is one of the words of the question. The living dialogue is based on question and response.

          The experience of the call by name is dramatized by Rosenzweig’s experience upon returning to Judaism on Yom Kippur 1913 at the synagogue on Potsdam Bridge in Berlin. It appears that Rosenzweig heard God call him by name. A communication (Beziehung) was made there with God (Briefe 263). Rosenzweig explains his comprehension of the dialogue by quoting a Biblical story (Star 207-208). When God called Adam after his sin, there was a call but no response. Adam was ashamed; he feared responsibility for his past and his sin. Therefore, when God asked, “Where are you?” his intention was “where is your ‘you’”? His interest was not to understand via his understanding the “you” but only to understand the “you” (see Pardes HaHasidut 63). This question certainly does not seek to clarify the place of man, since God surely knows where he is located. To the question of how it can be that the Almighty asks man “Where are You?” Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Ladi responded that whenever God calls to man “Where are You”? he means where are you in the world? To where have you arrived in the world? God seeks the man who conceals himself and calls and asks where he is. The above response is not a substantive answer but rather castigates man vis-?-vis his way of life. Rabbi Schneur Zalman charged that man lives irresponsibly and without introspection. Adam hid in order to evade giving an account and avoid responsibility; by hiding from God he became entangled in the depths of the illusion of that which followed, and found himself in a new situation which worsened as he moved from one hiding place to the next. The question, “Where are You?” rattles man, destroys the wall of his hiding place and seeks to show him where he has arrived and give him strength to free himself from the entanglement. Man confesses: “I heard your voice in the garden and hid,” and with this, man’s path commences.11

          But man was not willing to stand in the presence of God. He hid, made excuses, blamed another—“the woman whom you gave me.” Eve did not succeed in that which Adam failed, and she passed the blame to the serpent (Star 208). The dialogue is a process “from real word to real word” (Star 207). Each side was active. This dialogue was a real dialogue, each side speaking freely. The call “you” directed at Adam requires a response from man. In calling Adam by his first name, God raises the human “you” testified to by the “here I am” of the answer: “‘Where are Thou?’ This is none other than the quest for the Thou…By the very act of asking for the ‘Thou’, by the ‘Where’ of this question, which testifies to its belief in the existence of the ‘Thou’ even without the ‘Thou’s’ coming into its purview, the ‘I’ addresses and expresses itself as ‘I’. The ‘I’ discovers itself at the moment when it asserts the existence of the ‘Thou’ by inquiring into its Where” (Star 207). “God called me, and therefore here I am” (Star 208); within the dependence in saying the absolute ‘you’ was a justified dependence on objects as well as his human “you.” The dialogue with man is a quintessential dialogue,  and in comparison to it all other possible utterances and answers need be seen as decreed.

          Answering the call to the personal “you” indicates the beginning of the experience of man. The presence of the “you” of God created his “I”: “It must be that what we heard in our ‘I’ was living utterance, and we were answered from our ‘you’.” “The true dialectic is not the discourse of the philosopher alone but a dialogue between the ‘I’ and the ‘you’” (Naharayim 232).  The concrete ‘I’ is

only the “I” against which is positioned the “you,” and it itself is “you,” object, vis-?-vis another “I.” In regard to the wise, idealistic “I,” there is no “you,” just as the “you” does not exist with regard to any object.14  My “I” is effectuated in the “you”; by saying “you” I understand the other person not as “a thing” but an “I” like me”: “…this man says: I, such that if man is not B alone but B=B can say I…”  (Naharayim 210). In Rosenzweig’s exegesis of the scriptures, He who calls out becomes One who hears. That God spoke actually to the people of Israel, and the people answered, reflects the efforts of Rosenzweig to understand anew the dialogue. These efforts are expressed in particular in Buber’s I and Thou (B’sod Siach, 57-103). The I-Thou dialogue, according to Buber, is the path to understanding the connection between man and his creator. Rosenzweig’s thought is similar – the world, in all its actions, is God speaking to man. Man’s history is nothing other than signs, large and small, of the word spoken to him. The entire history of the world is only a dialogue between the creator and the creation, in which man is the veritable party who is entitled and empowered to speak and hear his word.

          Use of this name requires man’s communication to be immediate, current and reciprocal. The dialogue’s attribute is questions and answers at speaking tempo; without it, the opportunity is lost for oral reaction and dialogue. Without reaction, there is no action, nor a dynamic, harmonious, continuous, and communicative result. Dialogue does occur when “you” is utilized. The immediacy of the reaction tempo gives the communication a living and dynamic, rather than a static, character. The name “you” indicates that a reaction is taking place between persons speaking and the present “now.”

Summery

This article discusses the reasons Franz Rosenzweig, an influential Jewish theologian in prewar Germany, rejected the intellectual approach seeking to understand man as an object of the intellect. In establishing that the nature of man in the God-man-world relationship is one of inclusivity or unity, Rosenzweig provides an antidote to the futility of existence, and an answer for the fear of death. The article presents discourse on the critical concepts that support Rosenzweig’s existential philosophy. Topics include the nature of reality, the meaning of time, the ‘I’, the intellect, and self immanence, referencing contrasting views from Kant, Heidegger, Hegel, Newton, and, of course, Rosenzweig.

1 See F. Rosenzweig, Understanding the Sick and the Healthy: A View of the World, Man and God. This small book represents the anti-intellectual position. See also Rosenzweig in his article “The New Thinking,” notes to Star of Redemption, where he notes “Copernicus pronounced man a mode of dust in the vast universe. Kant’s own ‘Copernican turn of thought,’ which—to restore the equilibrium—sets man on the throne of that same universe, corresponds to the mote-of-dust idea more precisely than he himself realized” (204).

2 See Chapter 1 of Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time, which discussed “Dasein’s possibility of being a whole, and being towards death” (262-263).

3 Truth of multiplicity means: “…until the unbeliever in this dogma chooses to found his experiences of his world – on the world, his experiences – on God…” (Naharayim 223).

4 This idea of man as the lord of creation is expressed in the following sources. Talmud, Tractate Hagigah, 12B: “…On what does the earth stand? On pillars, as it is said, ‘Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble’ (Job 9:6).…Rabbi Eliezer ben Shamuah says, ‘on one pillar, and just man is its name, for it is said: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation’” (Prov. 10:25). See also Tractate Sanhedrin 37A: “Therefore man was born singularly, to teach you that one who loses one soul of Israel is considered as having lost an entire world, and one who establishes one soul of Israel is considered as having created an entire world.” Man’s important place is also taught, in a comparison between the big world and man as a small world, a microcosm, which appears frequently in rabbinical literature, and in which man is elevated to the level of world crown. See also Avot deRebbi Natan, Chapter 31, in particular “Sefer Yetsira,” and the philosophical literature which preceded Mimonides, in particular Yosef ben Yaacov Even-Zadik (1075-1149), Olam Katan [Mikrokosmos], translated by Rabbi Moshe ben Rabbi Shmuel Ibn Tibon (Lifsia, 1854). See Klazkin, Thesaurus Philosophicus 1:34-37 and 2:126-127. See also Naharayim 237.

5 See also Franz Rosenzweig, Briefe 718.

 

6 Kant, A Critique of Pure Reason. See also Bergman’s essay “The Philosophy of Immanuel Kant” in Toldot haPhilosophia haHadasha; Rosenzweig’s comments on Kant in Naharayim 221.

7 Action = Zeitwort, whose source is in the word time (Zeit). In German, the word Zeit forms the basis for many common words, such as Zeitgenosse (contemporary), Zeitlauf (time spent), Zeitfolge (chronological order), and Zeitung (newspaper).

8 Kant, Prolegomena; Yuval, Kant and the Religious Question; Bergman, Toldot ha-filosofyah ha-hadashah.

9 Heidegger, Being and Time 383-440, 456-486. See also Sein und Zeit 334-349. Compare Marck 1:155-160.

10 The distance of four handbreadths is the minimal distance set forth by the Rabbinical Sages in various matters. See Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Brachot 25B and 33B.

11 M. Buber, Pardes HaHasidut, 63.

12 See references below relating to the discussion of “Absolute empiricism.”

LIST OF SOURCE MATERIAL ABBREVIATIONS

Buber, Martin. B'sod Siach [Secret Conversation]. Jerusalem: Bialik Inst., 1959.

B'Sod Siach

Rosenzweig, Franz. Briefe [Letters]. Unter Mitwirkung von E. Simon ausgehwelt und hg. von. E. Rosenzweig [With the cooperation of E. Simon, selected and revised by E. Rosenzweig]. Berlin: Abkurzung, Br., 1935.

Briefe

Rosenstreich, Natan. HaMachshavah haYehudit b'et haHadash [Jewish Philosophy in Modern Times]. Tel-Aviv: Am Oved, 1966.

HaMachshavah

Naharayim

Rosenzweig, Franz. Naharayim [Selected Writings of Franz Rosenzweig]. Trans. Yehoshua Amir. Jerusalem: Bialik Inst., 1977.

Pardes HaHasidut

Buber, Martin. Pardes HaHasidut [The Garden of Hasidism]. Jerusalem: Bialik Inst., 1963.

Star

Rosenzweig, Franz. The Star of Redemption. 2d ed. Trans. William W. Hallo. New York: U of Notre Dame P, 1985.

 



תגיות המאמר: zadok krouz, דר צדוק קראוס


 
     
     
     
   
 
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