For about a year now, I’ve been thinking this way and that about launching this blog. Maybe it’s a bad idea. Don’t I already spend way too much time online or punching buttons? Don’t I need more, not less quiet? Sometimes, though, quiet is not all it’s cracked up to be by people like, well, by people like me.
I have finally come to the certain conclusion that “you” don’t exist if you’re not online. By “you” I don’t mean you, a flesh and blood creature. What I mean here (and only here) by you is the concept you want to shape and to inhabit. Such concepts and their habitats are “fundamentally” mediated, which means that without a medium they cannot exist.
This is especially true of contemporary Jewish philosophy and thought. Inside and outside the university, the circle of Jewish thought and philosophy has always been a small one. For its part, academic Jewish philosophy has only exacerbated that insularity by entombing itself in the super close-reading of a narrow band of canonical figures, texts, and ideas. Over time, the practice of Jewish thought and philosophy compares more and more to a tree that keeps falling in a forest with no one to hear it.
I would like with this blog to make a place for a liberal and open form of contemporary Jewish thought and philosophy. Hannah Arendt would have called it a “space of appearance.” Today, I think it needs to appear online.