Spinoza´s werk blijft beschouwd als tot de joodse literatuur behorend
Tot en met januari 2017 loopt in het Joods Historisch Museum de tentoonstelling "De glorie van het joodse boek,” waarop ook het Vaticaanse Ethica-manuscript te zien is. Een bewijs ervan hoe joden maar al te graag Spinoza in hun geschiedenis ingelijfd willen houden - waar ik geen enkele moeite mee heb, daarover geen misverstand: Spinoza 'is ook van hen.' Het blijkt ook uit het dit jaar verschenen boek:
Hoofdstukken zijn gewijd aan de Bijbelboeken Deuteronomium en Esther, en verder aan werk van Philo van Alexandrië, Flavius Josephus, Pirkei Avot, Benjamin van Tudela, Yehuda Halevi, Moses Maimonides, de Zohar, Glückel van Hameln, Spinoza (de TTP, niet de Ethica), Solomon Maimon en Moses Mendelssohn, Nachman van Bratislava, Theodor Herzl en Sholem Aleichem.
Een kort review op Kirkus:
Poet and critic Kirsch (Director, Jewish Studies Master’s Program/Columbia Univ.; Rocket and Lightship: Essays on Literature and Ideas, 2014, etc.) takes a reflective look at what his Jewish religion has been and can be via some of its greatest books. His ambitious survey spans more than 2,500 years and offers a “panoramic portrait of Jewish thought and experience.” The books focus on four central topics: God, the Torah, the Land of Israel, and the Jewish people. Kirsch begins pretty much at the beginning with the book of Deuteronomy. Devoted to law and history, it’s concerned with the major subject of the Israelites’ relationship to the Land of Israel. He next turns to the book of Esther, which is best read as “historical fiction.” Kirsch is fascinated with its “paradox of Jewish power in a condition of Diaspora.” Jump ahead some 500 hundred years to the Jewish general captured by the Romans, Flavius Josephus, and his The Jewish War, a firsthand account of “perhaps the greatest calamity in Jewish history.” After an account of the Zohar, a 2,400-page compendium that “enchants the universe like no other Jewish book,” comes Glückel of Hameln’s transformative Tsenerene from the 1590s, “one of the most popular Yiddish books of all time.” It did the most to “connect Jewish women to Judaism’s traditional sources,” while her Memoirs is the first autobiography by a Jewish woman. From the 1890s, Kirsch singles out the visionary Viennese writer Theodor Herzl as one of the “most important figures in Jewish history.” The Jewish State, a nonfiction pamphlet, “laid out a detailed plan for the relocation of Europe’s Jews to Palestine,” while his novel Old New Land helped to create Zionism. Kirsch ends his list in 1914 with the Tevye stories of Sholem Aleichem. Although a mere 120 pages long, “no work of Yiddish literature has been more influential or more widely loved.” [van hier]
De slotparagraaf van zijn hoofdstuk over de TTP luidt
"Considered as a Jewish book, too, the Theological-Political Treatise marks the beginning of a new era. As we have seen, the questions Spinoza asked about Judaism and the Bible are similar to the ones Maimonides had asked five hundred years earlier, and Philo a thousand years before that. How to reconcile reason and faith, how to give Jewish law meaning, how to read the Bible—these are not modern questions, but ones that recur whenever Jews confront the philosophical tradition. What made Spinoza's answer modern was that unlike all his predecessors, he did not finally believe that reason and Judaism could be reconciled—and he decided in favor of reason. Judaism as a religion, and Jewishness as an identity, appear for the first time in Spinoza as unnecessary relics of the past, which the enlightened individual must discard on the road to the secular and universal society of the future. The great questions for Jews in the modern world would be whether such a society could really exist and whether discarding Judaism was too high a price to pay for admission."
Zie ook het uitgebreidere review van Dara Horn in The Wall Street Journal, 7 oktober 2016: "Adam Kirsch’s Anthology of Jewish Civilization’s Greatest Hits" [cf.]