Martin Buber (Legacy) (Mossad Bialik 1963)

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Today at JPP-FB there were some sad comments about the bad state of things in Israel today and the sad legacy of Martin Buber here. As opposed to his legacy where? In China, Germany, and the United States? When we first arrived in Israel, we went straight to the cousins’ apartment in Ramat Aviv. There  were a bunch of books piled up on the coffee table, including this 1963 Mossad Bialik edition of Buber’s basic writings. Just sitting there. I’m not sure why. I’m  sure it was not left out for me. It was just there. My cousin is secular, and not, to put it lightly, a big reader of Jewish philosophy. So what gives? The book wasn’t doing anything there per se. Just sitting there. Unread, I’m sure. Yet qua  object, and that’s all I’m talking about here and for the moment, nothing more and nothing less, except to say that, qua object, “Martin Buber-Mossad Bialik” looks very much at home on my cousin’s coffee table. I love this old edition, already 50 years old, the orange and black graphic design, very clean and modern, and the way it appears on the simple green tablecloth with white stitching. I made a similar post about all the old first edition German Jewish rare books out on display in the window at Pollak Antiquariate on Ben Yehuda in Tel Aviv, and about the place of these old German “things” over here in the town of Bauhaus. I don’t find Buber and the German Jews much in New York, as opposed to here where their presence still haunts the place. About Buber I reminded my dear friends, that he was many things, that his legacy might mean many things, but that Buber was never cynical about the human condition or “the Jewish people.”

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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1 Response to Martin Buber (Legacy) (Mossad Bialik 1963)

  1. efmooney says:

    Yes, I feel Buber alive here more than in the States, and a touchstone. For instance Kierkegaard is admired here not because he’s a Christian or says good things about Jewish thought but because he is inspires, it’s said, Buber and Rosenzweig’s tradition of ‘non-rationalist’ dialogical thinking.

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