web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Freud’s ‘Rabbi’

Singer-072514

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.”

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 letters and documents. He welcomes comments and suggestions 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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The Port of Long Beach
ZIM Shanghai Unloads at Port of Long Beach, No BDS Problems
Latest Sections Stories
Mindy-092614-Choc-Roll

I should be pursuing plateaus of pure and holy, but I’m busy delving and developing palatable palates instead.

Schonfeld-logo1

Brown argues that this wholehearted living must extend into our parenting.

Twenties-092614-Abrams

If we truly honor the other participants in a conversation, we can support, empathize with, and even celebrate their feelings.

Twenties-092614-OU-Mission

I witnessed the true strength of Am Yisrael during those few days.

She writes intuitively, freely, and only afterwards understands the meaning of what she has written.

“I knew it was a great idea, a win-win situation for everyone,” said Burstein.

Not knowing any better, I assumed that Molly and her mother must be voracious readers.

“I would really love my mother-in-law …if she weren’t my mother-in-law.”

For each weekly reading, Rabbi Grysman begins with a synopsis of the Torah portion, followed by a focus on a major issue.

It’s Rosh Hashanah. A new year. Time for a fresh start. Time for a new slate. Time for change.

Governor Rick Scott visited North Miami Beach/Aventura on the morning of Wednesday, September 17.

While the cost per student is higher than mainstream schools, Metzuyan Academy ESE is a priceless educational opportunity for children with special needs in South Florida.

Challah-pa-looza helped get the community ready and excited about the upcoming Jewish New Year.

Miami businessman and philanthropist Eli Nash had many in tears as he shared his story of the horrific abuse he suffered from age 8 to 11.

More Articles from Saul Jay Singer
Collecting-History-logo

In 1943, Jewish Agency officials recruited her to join a clandestine military project whose ultimate purpose was to offer aid to beleaguered European Jewry.

Collecting-History-logo

Frank proclaimed himself Zvi’s successor and the reincarnation of King David.

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).

The similarities between Goethe’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice and the Golem of Prague are stark and unmistakable…

Upon his return to London, Montefiore was given a hero’s welcome, including a big ceremony and special synagogue services and, when he met with Queen Victoria to present her with the firman, she honored him by permitting him to add the Lion of Judah holding a banner bearing the word “Jerusalem” to his coat of arms.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: