Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

February 12, 1982 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-02-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Intellectuals: Scholem andrWalter Benjamin'

"Walter Benjamin, The
'--Story of a Friendship"
(Jewish Publication Society
Of America) is an incompar-
>- able memoir chronicling the
intimate friendship be-
tween two masters of the
spirit and language. Its au-
. thor, Gershom Scholem, is
considered to be one of the
c oremost Jewish scholars of
our age; his lifework has
peen the almost single-
handed reconstruction of
Jewish mysticism, which he
has set forth in a series of
nc+- ",le publications.
book's subject, Wal-
.. r
-er Benjamin,
. i s regarded
l by many as the greatest
philospher-critic of the cen-
tury and his writings com-
mand increasing attention.
The present volume,
- translated from the original
German, has already re-
'''-ceived advance critical
acclaim. A pre-publication
report in Kirkus Reviews
"So little is available,
,biographically, about
Walter Benjamin — per-
haps the most supple, in-
tuitive, and creative cri-
tic of the age — that the
testimony of a close
friend like Scholem ar-
rives as a major boon.
And since Scholem is
himself a great scholar
and thinker, since the in-
tellectual comradeship
- between the two was so
intense for a time, the
commingling of their
thoughts comes to be
even more revealing than
the life-facts them-

i t

ematically training and de-
:Teloping involvement with
Judaism and Kabala had a
lasting effect on Benjamin,
contributing to the concept
of aura as well as that of
name (God) vs. word (man).

Close as it was, their
friendship carried within it
the seeds of hurt and mis-
understanding, which
ripened under the pressure
of separation and political
crisis. Ultimately, their
paths diverged.
Scholem, convinced that
there was no future for Jews
and Judaism in Germany,
emigrated to Palestine in
1923. Benjamin, under the
influence of, among others,
Theodor Adorno, Bertolt
Brecht and Asja Lacis, be-
came increasingly drawn to
Marxism and remained in
Europe until too late. In
1940, fleeing the Nazis, he
committed suicide on the
Spanish border.
Until Benjamin's tragic
death, the friendship was
maintained through letters,
critical commentary, and a
fervent exchange of litera-
ture to emphasize and
validify the correspondents'
respective intellectual and
political directions.
Publishers Weekly, ob-
serves: "Scholem's un-
swerving belief in God
and Jewishness became
the focus of his life and
activity, whereas Benja-
min's two gods — mysti-
cal Judaism and dialecti-
cal Communism — pre-
vented his coming to
terms with either." These


"Benjamin's great work
on Kafka also has unmis-
takable Scholem strains
. . . As stuff of the intern-
gente, an invaluable docu-
ment about not merely one
but two of the century's
most profound minds."
Gershom Scholem and
Walter Benjamin first met
as young men in Berlin in
1915. Scholem was then 17
and Benjamin 23. There
was an immediate affinity
between them of intellec-
tual interests and they
struck up a friendship that
continued for years and
proved mutually fructify-
ing, though not without its
tensions. -
They pursued their in-
tense discussions of
Judaism, religion, litera-
ture, and philosophy at
every opportunity. (The
year 1918 found Scholem
living close to Benjamin
and his wife, Dora, in
Switzerland, and, as Kir-
kus Reviews writes, "this
period of extreme inti-
macy . . . is absolutely
exhilarating to read ab-
out.") When they were
separated, their ex-
changes went on in es-
saylike letters, many of
them reproduced in this

differences of perspec-
tive, in the last phases of
their friendship, took on
a grim edge, revealing
Scholem's uncanny
clairvoyance and Benja-
min's equivocation of
thought and ideology.
"Walter Benjamin: The
Story of a Friendship" is
thus not only the record of a
memorable association, but
also a gripping account of
the duel that engaged two
remarkable minds.






All work guaranteed

Free Estimates

Reliable and Experienced since 1930
on all makes of cars

28829 Orchard Lake Rd., between 12 & 13 Mile
Farmington Hills, ML 48018
Max Fleischer

A watch doesn't only tell time,
but tells who you are.


Jewelry Designers & Manufacturers of Original and
Unusual Creations • Authorized Appraisers • Estate Liquidators

31313 Northwestern

Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9:30-5:00


33% less fat
with great
Kosher taste!


Friday, February 12, 1982

Best's Kosher Lower-Fat Franks and Knacks contain
331/2% less fat than U.S.D.A. standards allow. (Less fat
than even other kosher franks and knacks!) And that's an
important difference if you're watching your weight or
cholesterol intake.
Bests Kosher gives you not only the taste you like—
with a lot less calories—but quality standards that are
higher than the U.S. Government sets. (Parts that don't
meet our quality requirements are sold to other manufac-
turers.) Sure. its'a little more expensive because lean
beef costs more than fat. Use the coupon and taste the
difference Best's Kosher quality makes!

HOrthodox Groups at Odds
Over Dietary Law in LA

fight between two Orthodox
,̀--, organizations for control of
dietary law supervision in
( - California has shifted from
the private to the public
domain as the United Or-
thodox Rabbinate -of Los
Angeles filed a law suit
1 agai-nst the Rabbinical
r Council of California last
according to the Wall
Street Journal.
The suit, which- was filed
in conjunction with the
, Acme Meat Co., charges the
council with antitrust viola-
otions, prieefixing, restraint
‘ of trade and trade slander
- `for withholding certifica-
/ Lion from Acme's kosher
,-- slaughtering operation.
The law suit is the latest
> action in an intense debate
between the Orthodox
groups that has featured
‘ name-calling, alleged ex-
"tortion and a challenge to at
least one rabbi's "authentic-
> ity."
Acme claims that it was
> forced to close its kosher
operation because lack of
certification by the Rab-
,,binical Council made it


impossible to sell Acme
products to kosher
butchers in the Los
Angeles area.
According to the United
Orthodox Rabbinate, the
council certified only a
small number of eligible
kosher meat manufacturers
so that a few businesses
would be allowed to domi-
nate the field.
The suit also charges that
the council offered to
reinstate the certification if
Acme agreed to pay Rabbi
Solomon Spitz, who is an in-
specting rabbi and a council
member, $400 a month.
The Rabbinical Council
hasn't yet filed an answer to
the suit, but, in an inter-
view, two leaders of the
group said that they were
"shocked, disappointed
and deeply distressed that
any Jews, especially the
plaintiffs, would take the
matter to anything but an
ecclesiastical court."

To listen well, is as power-
ful a means of influence as
to talk well, and is as essen-
tial to all true conversation.


On purchase of one package of





Best's Kosher

■ 12 oz. Lower-Fat Franks ■ 12 oz. Lower-Fat Knacks
■ 12 oz. Lower-Fat Salami

DEALER Yo:. are authca ∎ led to act as our agent for me
redemption dt 11-us COunOn provided .1 is redeemed on the
Products specified Invoices proving your purchase of sot tr-
cient stock to cover -coupons presented tor redempz , on must
be furnished en i eciuesl For payment Mall COUrpOrIS 10 BEST
KOSHER SAUSAGE CO 207 W South Water Market
Chicago. IL. 60608. We will redeem this coupon for 25' phis 5' for handling when
ierms of inisofler have been complied with by you and the consumer The consumer
must pay any sales tax inyo,.yed Of lei good only .n the United States and void wnere
may not
licensed lofted or restricted 5,
transferred Only ONE coupon redeemed Per purchase Cash value 1; 0c
e 2 March




STORE COUPON Imimmiummiminmemilassiannemull


Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan