Franz Rosenzweig Analysis

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Franz Rosenzweig was a Jewish theologian, philosopher, existentialist and translator who changed the way both the Jewish and Christian community thought about existentialism. He is best known for his novel The Star of Redemption (1921), founding the Lehrhaus in Germany, and collaborating on the new translation of the Torah to German. Rosenzweig greatly impacted philosophy in the 20th century through his “reflections on human finitude” and “ramified accounts of All that is” (Pollock). Rosenzweig was born in 1886 in Kassel, Germany to a “minimally observant” Jewish family. His cousin, Hans Ehrenberg had a large impact on him throughout his youth. When Ehrenberg converted to Christianity Rosenzweig seriously considered doing the same. He explained…show more content…
It is in this work that his ideas about the “God, self, world” relationship came to fruition and Rosenzweig as able to describe his “New Thinking” that he had been developing for so many years. In the book the Star of David is used as a web to show the connections between these three relationships. The upwards pointing triangle of the star has God, human being, and universe on the corners while the other had revelation, redemption, and creation on the corners. Rosenzweig how these ideas all interconnect through God and his will for man to be created in order to find redemption. There are three parts to the novel: The Elements, The Path, and The Form. In the first part Rosenzweig defines his old thinking as one that goes “Against the Philosophers” (the subheading of the section) way of thinking that focuses too much on avoiding death. He believes we should instead focus more on the Elements (God, self, and world) and in this way we can skip problems like death and time. The second section of The Star (with the subheading “Against the Theologians”) also contains many new theories about the Jewish religion. It goes against the belief that redemption is of the entire Jewish community but instead claims that redemption can be found in just one person achieving “the purpose for which he has been created”. Additionally he has a…show more content…
The Lehrhaus or The Free Jewish House of Teaching opened in1920 in Frankfurt. Lessons covered all aspects and had an unorthodox way of teaching in that the teachers were not necessarily masters of their subject and were able to ask questions along with their students. Learning came less from books and more from discussion so that “monologue had to give way to dialogue” (Lux). The school was largely popular and attracted many famous Jewish thinkers of the time. Rosenzweig continued to run the school until 1922 when his rapidly progressing Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) no longer allowed him to teach. By the end of the year it had become so serious that he could no longer speak or write. By using a typewriter he was able to continue to communicate and work on what ended up being his final project: translating the Hebrew Bible to modern

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