Istota judaizmu według Leo Baecka

The Essence of Judaism according to Leo Baeck

Treść artykułu: Pobierz | Czytaj

Strona: 441 - 451

Publikacja w numerze: 16 (2016)

Autor: Rabiej Stanisław


The paper sought to interpret the several works of Leo Baeck (1873–1956), German rabbi and religious thinker, leader of Progressive Judaism. As the rabbi of the Jewish community in Opole (1897–1907), in 1905 he published a key work of Das Wesen des Judentums (The Essence of Judaism), in response to Adolf von Harnack’s Wesen des Christentums. Baeck saw himself primarily as a rabbi and a preacher, who understood his mission beyond the borders of his own Liberal affiliation, as shaped by his responsibility to the entire German Jewish community and the Jewish people at large. His philosophical-theological thought as well as his works on history of religion should be read and measured in light of his rabbinic mission. He identified the essence of Judaism with biblical prophecy, namely the direct experience of God’s presence and the command to worship Him. For him Judaism, in contrast with Christianity, is thus not aimed at the salvation of the individual soul but rather at the collective redemption of humanity and of the world. In line with his national and this-worldly view of Judaism and the Jewish people, Baeck had a sympathetic, although critical attitude towards Zionism. He thought that the building of Palestine was
a valuable prospect for embodying the spirit of Judaism, but not a guarantee that it would be realized.