web analytics
August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Freud’s ‘Rabbi’


Singer-Saul-Jay-logo-NEW

Both of Sigmund Freud’s (1856-1939) parents came from devout Jewish families. His father marked Sigmund’s birth with the following Hebrew notation in the family Chumash: “My son Shlomo Sigmund was born on Rosh Chodesh Iyar [5]616, May 6, 1856. He entered the Jewish community on Tuesday, the 8th of Iyar. The mohel was Herr Samson Frankl from Ostrau.” Though Freud wished to both deny and affirm different aspects of his Judaism, there is little question regarding his self-identification and pride in being a Jew. Perhaps the best statement of his feelings about Judaism was made in a May 6, 1926 address to B’nai Brith:

What bound me to Jewry was (I am ashamed to admit) neither faith nor national pride, for I have always been an unbeliever and was brought up without any religion…but plenty of other things remained to make the attraction of Jewry and Jews irresistible…. it was to my Jewish nature alone that I owed two characteristics that had become indispensable to me in the difficult course of my life. Because I was a Jew, I found myself free from many prejudices which restricted others in the use of their intellect; and as a Jew I was prepared to join the Opposition and to do without agreement with the “compact majority.”

Freud often reaffirmed his Jewish identity. On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882). He further wrote: “I have never repudiated my people, and I am in my essential nature a Jew who has no desire to alter that nature” (1913) and “My parents were Jews, and I have remained a Jew myself” (Autobiography, 1925). On Eretz Yisrael, Freud, emphasizing that he had never considered himself German but rather Jewish, wrote: “We hail from there…our ancestors lived there, and it is impossible to say how much of the life in that country we carry as a heritage in our blood and nerves.”Singer-072514

In the November 7, 1936 correspondence shown here, Freud extends his congratulations to his dear friend, Emil Hammerschlag, on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Freud enjoyed a long relationship with the entire Hammerschlag family, beginning with Rabbi Samuel Hammerschlag, who taught him Jewish religion, and later including Emil, who became his Hebrew teacher.

Though a strong proponent of humanistic Reform Judaism, Samuel Hammerschlag (1826-1904) combined his teaching of German classics and modern European culture with a deep Jewish spirit, a love for Jewish tradition, and a strong emphasis on Bible, liturgy, Hebrew grammar, and Jewish history. Scholars single him out as a significant religious influence on Freud, beginning with Sigmund’s adolescence and continuing throughout his life.

Freud’s great veneration for the man who instructed him in the Jewish faith may be seen through the obituary he wrote for his beloved friend and teacher, which was published in the Vienna press in 1904: “…a spark from the same fire which animated the spirit of the great Jewish seers and prophets burned in him…but the passionate side of his nature was happily tempered by the ideal of humanism of our classical German period, which governed him and his method of education …”

After being hired as a teacher in the Religious School in Vienna (1857), Samuel assumed responsibility for administering the school library and transformed it into a Jewish public institution. After being forced to retire from his teaching post due to the onset of deafness (May 1873), he continued to work without pay for thirty years at developing the community library.

About the Author: Saul Jay Singer, a nationally recognized legal ethicist, serves as senior legal ethics counsel with the District of Columbia Bar. He is a collector of extraordinary original Judaica documents and letters, and his column appears in The Jewish Press every other week. Mr. Singer welcomes comments at saul.singer@verizon.net.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Freud’s ‘Rabbi’”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Aqsa Mahmood, a nice Glasgow Muslim woman who turned jihadist and joined the ISIS.
Israeli Woman Allegedly Heading North to ISIS
Latest Sections Stories
book-Lord-Get-Me-High

Even when our prayers are ignored and troubles confront us, Rabbi Shoff teaches that it is the same God who sent the difficulties as who answered our prayers before.

Schonfeld-logo1

I’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions regarding bullies, friendship and learning disabilities.

book-Avi's-Choice

His parents make it clear that they feel the right thing is for Avi to visit his grandfather, but they leave it up to him.

There is a rich Jewish history in this part of the world. Now the hidden customs are being revealed, as many seek to reconnect with their roots.

There are times when a psychiatrist will over-medicate, which is why it’s important to find a psychiatrist whom you trust and feel comfortable with.

On November 22, 1963, Abraham Zapruder created one of the most famous, and valuable, pieces of film and became forever linked with one of the greatest American national tragedies when he stood with his camera on an elevated concrete abutment as President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Exhibited here is […]

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” – Corrie ten Boom I’ve been thinking a lot about worrying. Anxiety is an issue close to my heart – […]

Don’t be afraid to try something different.

Upon meeting the Zionist delegation, General Wu, a recent convert to Christianity, said, “You are my spiritual brothers.

With the assistance of Mr. Tress, Private Moskowitz tried tirelessly to become an army chaplain.

Dr. Yael Respler is taking a well-deserved vacation this week and asked Eilon Even-Esh to share some thoughts with her readers in her stead.

More Articles from Saul Jay Singer
Singer-Saul-Jay-logo-NEW

On November 22, 1963, Abraham Zapruder created one of the most famous, and valuable, pieces of film and became forever linked with one of the greatest American national tragedies when he stood with his camera on an elevated concrete abutment as President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Exhibited here is […]

Front-Page-081415

The concept for Curious George began with a story about Raffy, a lonesome giraffe who befriends nine monkeys, the youngest of whom is named Fifi.

Jews who were considered, but not ultimately selected, include Woody Allen, Saul Bellow, David Ben-Gurion, Marc Chagall, Anne Frank, and Barbra Streisand.

There are a variety of sources that, comics historians claim, served as sources of inspiration for the Superman character.

Not as well known is that long before Anderson was denied permission to sing at Constitution Hall, she was refused lodging at Nassau Inn in Princeton during her April 16, 1937 concert at the McCarter Theatre there, and Albert Einstein invited her into his home as a guest.

Marceau suggested a dark reason for his wordless art: “The people who came back from the [concentration] camps were never able to talk about it…. My name is Mangel. I am Jewish. Perhaps that, unconsciously, contributed towards my choice of silence.”

Any number of false narratives regarding the reason the Beatles did not perform at Ramat Gan continue to circulate, ranging from a dispute between Ori and another music promoter, Giora Godik, to the recalcitrance of Golda Meir.

Many properly cite Innocents as evidence that the Arab presence in Eretz Yisrael was so inconsequential before the arrival of the Zionist pioneers as to defeat any modern Arab claim to the land.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/features-on-jewish-world/freuds-rabbi/2014/07/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: