100%

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

Page Options

Share

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

January 02, 1987 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-01-02

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

A JANUARY FUR CLEARANCE

Forgotten Centennial
Of Franz Rosenzweig

AT

MALTER FURS

RABBI RICHARD C. HERTZ

Special to The Jewish News

OUR ENTIRE COLLECTION
OF FINE FURS IS REDUCED

M

20% 50%

FROM

TO

Of

M • LTER

Harvard Row

1 1 Mile Rd. at lahser

DESIGNERS OF FINE FURS

INC

HOURS:
DAILY - 9:00-5:00
THURS. - 9:00-8:00

21742 W. 11 Mile Rd.
Southfield

Phone:

358-0850

SALE ENDS JAN. 31, 1987

BE A WINNER, PLAY

DIE CLASSIFIEDS

Call The Jewish News
Today

354-6060

TEL-TWELVE MALL • 12 MILE & TELEGRAPH • SOUTHFIELD
HOURS: DAILY 10-9 • SUNDAY 12-5 • 354-9060
FINE FURNITURE & ACCESSORIES ALWAYS 20% OFF.

18

Friday, January 2, 1987

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

LOOKING BACK

y only nephew, John
Hertz, a young at-
torney in .Los
Angeles, called me the last
week of December and asked,
"Uncle, do you know whose
birthday falls on Dec. 25th?"
I sensed a trap.
"Who else besides Jesus?" I
asked.
"It's the 100th anniversary
of the birth of Franz
Rosenzweig, and no one seems
to care about it."
I was stunned. He was right.
I have not seen a single article,
seminar, lecture or celebration
calling attention to this cen-
tennial.
Franz Rosenzweig was a re-
markable man. I have long
been intrigued by those who
return to Judaism after being
spiritually and Jewishly lost.
Franz Rosenzweig was such a
baal t'shuvah, one who re-
turns.
Young Franz was born Dec.
25, 1886, and brought up in
Germany in an assimilated
family. In his late 20s, seeking
a meaningful religious experi-
ence and influenced by a cousin
who had converted,
Rosenzweig decided to become
a Christian. But he wanted to
become a Christian the way
the founder of Christianity did,
as a real Jew. He decided to
attend synagogue services on
Yom Kippur in preparation for
converting so he could "go
through" Judaism to Chris-
tianity.
The fateful year was 1913.
He went to a small orthodox
synagogue in Berlin. There he
found himself so moved by the
sincerity of the men and
women who confessed their
sins and prayed for forgiveness
in the Yom Kippur ritual that
he stood there, utterly alone
before his God, heard the Kol
Nidre chanted and listened to
the story of Jonah the prophet
who tried to flee from God. He
was transformed.
When he heard the final clos-
ing sentence, "The Lord, He is
God!" and the Shofar blown,
Rosenzweig left the synagogue
a changed person. He had
found his faith. He didn't need
to become a Christian. He
needed no mediator between
him and God. Years later in a
private letter to his mother, he
wrote, "I have reversed my de-
cision . . . I will remain a Jew."
Franz Rosenzweig went on to
become one of the most crea-
tive leaders in contemporary
Jewish thought. Drafted into
the German Army during
' World War I, he found time to
write on postcards to his
mother his ideas about rede-
mption and his Jewish heri-

Dr. Hertz is rabbi emeritus of
Temple Beth El and
distinguished professor of
Jewish studies at the
University of Detroit.

tage. Those postcards became
the basis of his monumental
work The Star of Redemption.
The final section bore the
date Feb. 16, 1919. God, World
and Man were the first three
elements of existence, he
wrote. Creation, Revelation
and Redemption — these were
the theological terms used to
link together the elements of
the Jewish star's double
triangle. Six points, six ele-
ments.

Not long after his marriage
to Edith Hahn in March 1920,
he received an appointment to
head the Freies Judisches Leh-
rhaus in Frankfort am Main.
At the Lehrhaus he was to
head an adult academy of

Dec. 25 marked the
centennial of one
of the most
influential
returnees to
Judaism.

Jewish studies, but a medical
checkup revealed he had been
stricken with progressive
paralysis. Gradually he be-
came more and more handi-
capped.

Though gravely ill, he defied
his affliction and carried on as
an active scholar, writer and
teacher. He collaborated with
Martin Buber in translating
the Hebrew Bible into Ger-
man. A quaint typewriter was
rigged up so he could transmit
his thoughts to paper. Friends
and disciples came to his bed-
side to listen and learn.

When he died on Dec. 10,
1929, Jewish life lost this cen-
tury's most creative theolo-
gian, once hailed by Commen-
tary magazine as "the single
greatest influence on the reli-
gious thought of North Ameri-
can Jewry . . . a layman, not a
rabbi."

Chicagoans Ask
Fair Election

Chicago — A non-partisan
committee of Chicago civic
leaders is urging all candidates
in the upcoming city elections
to commit themselves to a Code
of Fair Campaign Practice, a
series of guidelines aimed at
discouraging appeals to
bigotry and bias in the mayoral
and aldermanic election cam-
paigns.
Called CONDUCT (Com-
mittee on Decent Unbiased
Campaign Tactics), the non-
partisan committee is com-
posed of 33 leaders drawn from
the major racial and religious
groups that make up the city. It
was formed by the Chicago
chapter of the American
Jewish Committee two years
ago.

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan