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The popular communal mysticism known as Hasidism transformed religious thought and practice among East European Jews during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Martin Buber, the greatest Jewish philosopher and religious thinker of the mid-twentieth century, single-handedly transformed Hasidism from an all-but-forgotten trend into one of the great spiritual movements of the modern world. This collection features some of Professor Buber's most important essays--profound yet simple meditations that constitute an incomparable distillation of Hasidic wisdom.
The classic work on philosophy and religion, with a wealth of footnotes to clarify obscurities.
"No matter how brilliant it may be, the human intellect that wishes to keep to a plane above the events of the day is not really alive," wrote Martin Buber in 1932. The correspondence of Martin Buber reveals a personality passionately involved in all the cultural and political events of his day. Drawn from the three-volume German edition of his correspondence, this collection includes letters both to and from the leading personalities of his day--Albert Einstein and Albert Schweitzer, Hemann Hesse, Franz Kafka, and Stefan Zweig, Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, S.Y. Agnon, Gershom Scholem, and Franz Rosenzweig. These exchanges capture the dynamics of seven decades of lived history, reflected through the eyes of a man who was the conscience of his generation. One of the leading spiritual thinkers of the twentieth century, Buber is best known for his work of religious existentialism, I and Thou. A prime mover in the German-Jewish renaissance of the 1920s, he taught comparative religion and Jewish ethics at the University of Frankfurt. Fleeing the Nazis in 1938, Buber made his home in Jerusalem, where he taught social philosophy at the Hebrew University. As resident sage of Jerusalem, he developed an international reputation and following, and carried on a vigorous correspondence on social, political, and religious issues until the end of his life. Included in this collection are Buber's exchanges with many Americans in the latter part of his life: Will Herberg, Walter Kaufmann, Maurice Friedman, Malcolm Diamond, and other individuals who sought his advice and guidance. In the voices of these letters, a full-blooded portrait emerges of a towering intellect ever striving to live up to philosophy of social engagement.
Edited by Nahum N. Glatzer With a new Foreword by Rodger Kamenetz "The question I put before you, as well as before myself, is the question of the meaning of Judaism for the Jews. Why do we call ourselves Jews? I want to speak to you not of an abstraction but of your own life . . . its authenticity and essence. " With these words, Martin Buber takes us on a journey into the heart of Judaism--its spirit, vision, and relevance to modern life.
"These essays, written between 1909 and 1954 and first published as a collection in 1957, in which the eminent philosopher relates the 'I-Thou' dialogue to such varied fields as religion, social thought, philosophy, myth, drama, literature and art, reveal Buber in the process of responding to the crises and challenges of the 20th century and enable the reader to follow his lifelong struggles toward 'authentic existence.'" -Back Cover
This new paperback edition brings together volumes one and two of Buber's classic work Takes of the Hasidim, with a new foreword by Chaim Potok. Martin Buber devoted forty years of his life to collecting and retelling the legends of Hasidim. "Nowhere in the last centuries," wrote Buber in Hasidim and Modern Man, "has the soul-force of Judaism so manifested itself as in Hasidim... Without an iota being altered in the law, in the ritual, in the traditional life-norms, the long-accustomed arose in a fresh light and meaning."These marvelous tales--terse, vigorous, often cryptic--are the true texts of Hasidim. The hasidic masters, of whom these tales are told, are full-bodied personalities, yet their lives seem almost symbolic. Through them is expressed the intensity and holy joy whereby God becomes visible in everything.
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