Page 87 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 30

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F
r ied lander
— L
eo
B
a e c k
: C
en t en a ry
and
M
an
7 7
more than the others, was a continuation of Jewish thought and
teaching forming a basic link in the
shalshelet ha-kabbala,
the
chain of transmission leading from the rabbis to our own days.
He was part of Jewish life in an unforgettable manner: not only
because he was in the camp, but because he was a synagogue rabbi
and totally identified with all aspects of Jewish striving.
There are no giants today, no truly outstanding Jewish teachers.
We are blessed with great scholars and with fine men. We have not
matched the men of the Spanish Golden Age or of the German
Golden Age which might have come. The greatest inspiration
might have come out of the Eastern
yeshivot.
We will never know
this. With Elie Wiesel and other prophet-poets, we can mourn for
them. Meanwhile, if we turn to a teacher of our century, to Leo
Baeck, we can discover new insights which have to inform Jewish
thought today:
an openness which is at the heart of midrashic thinking, al­
ready in the process of being redefined by men like Emil Fack-
enheim;
an awareness of Jewish existence which has to inform the
scholar and has to form the framework for his teachings and for
his hopes;
an encounter with the reality of God in the framework of past
words and experience in which our future is also recapitulated;
the knowledge of man as the
individual ineffabile,
cosmic man
with cosmic hope who realizes the tension between what he is
and what he might be;
the knowledge of one man—Leo Baeck, a rabbi in Israel.
Bibliography
Writings of Leo Baeck: The Essence of Judaism
(New York, Schocken
Books, 1948); This People Israel: The Meaning of Jewish Existence
(New
York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965) ; The Pharisees and Other Essays,
Introduction by D. Stendahl (New York, Schocken Books, 1947, reprinted
in paperback 1966); Judaism and Christianity,
trans. and ed. by W. Kaufmann
(Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society, 1958).
Works about Baeck: Arthur A. Cohen, The Natural and Supernatural Jew
(New York, Pantheon Books, 1962); Eugene B. Borowitz, A New Jewish
Theology in the Making
(Philadelphia, Westminister Press, 1969); Albert
H. Friedlander, Leo Baeck: Teacher of Theresienstadt
(New York, Holt,
Rinehart and Winston, 1968); Albert H. Friedlander, “Leo Baeck,” Encyclo­
pedia Brittannica
(1972 edition); Ignaz Maybaum, The Face of God After
Auschwitz
(Amsterdam, Polak and Van Gennep, 1969).