Photo Credit: Der Spiegel
An ordination service at a Berlin synagogue. Coming just after the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the school is a significant step in post-Holocaust Jewish revival, Spiegel points out. At last, they're paying the glass bill.

A Plea

Delete me please, / delete me absolutely / from da list,

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no more Iz-rah-el, no more / Jewish blood, no / more history,

just no-ting, / quiet, peace,

delete me, just delete, / I beg you, please,

(from the Forward)

Kosman wants his school’s approach to influence the rabbinate in other countries – particularly his native Israel, where he sees a serious spiritual crisis among what he describes as the “broken dream” of Zionism.

Now we’re talking.

Within this broken dream thing, says Kosman, Israel is growing dangerously fundamentalist, “competing at the moment with Iran in many areas.”

Spoken like a level headed scientist, with no axes to grind whatsoever. One can imagine the gallows in the city squares in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, just like in Iran, where homosexuals and other enemies of the religion are hanged every week. It’s obvious, isn’t it – Israel is almost like Iran.

“Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox rabbis in Israel can be closed off and arrogant,” he says. And to show what he means by closed off and arrogant, he gives an example of what it is to be condescending, Berlin-style:

“Imagine if Israeli rabbis were aware of Kant and of post-modern theory? It would generate a different politics, their relationship to the Arab and the secular person next to them would be different.”

Everybody got that he knows Kant? How about the post-modern thing, you dig?

I believe that even more direly needed in Kosman’s case is the unique skillset first offered by another exalted German Jew who dabbled in Kant, Herr Professor Sigmund Freud. Start at twice weekly and continue from there.

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