Page 66 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 22

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J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
volumes of the
Toldot
appeared,
The Religion of Israel
(Univer­
sity of Chicago Press). The first effects of this work on western
scholars are now being felt and there is ground for hope that as
a new generation comes into its own these effects will be felt more
and more.
Kaufmann’s special strength lay in his philosophical-analytical
acumen, in his capacity to discriminate, interrelate, and trace the
history of ideas. Yet, because of his forthrightness in criticism, his
detachment from party, and his wide-ranging interest, neither
the ideologues nor the academicians of Israel gladly accorded
him his due during his lifetime. Now that the man is departed it
may be hoped that a fuller appreciation of his contribution will
be made. Due chiefly to his lifelong preoccupation with the
spiritual basis of Jewish existence we can see as never before
the power of the idea in history. And that has a significance
far beyond the confines of any one segment of mankind.