Page 149 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 39

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MIKLISZANSKI / SIMON RAWIDOWICZ
143
The
Guide
seems to have held a strong personal appeal for
Rawidowicz. Perhaps in interpreting Krochmal’s historiosophy,
he also had in mind that his own historiosophy was in the
mainstream of Jewish thought and hence could serve as a guide
for the perplexed of his own time.
While residing in Leeds, England, and serving as chairman of
the Semitics Department, University of Leeds, in the midst of
World War II, Rawidowicz succeeded in keeping alive his Ararat
Publishing Company (in a way a continuation of his publishing
enterprise Ayanot, which he established in Berlin), by editing and
publishing five weighty volumes of
Metsudah
(Fortress), a literary
and scholarly miscellany (1942, 1945, in London; and, after the
war, 1948, 1954, in America). These volumes included his own
studies for projected works on Jewish philosophy.
Had the author been granted a longer life, he might have
combined all these fragmentary beginnings and augmented them
to form one continuous work on the history ofJewish philosophy.
Indeed, Rawidowicz was a philosopher and a thinker whose cre­
ative drive was most comfortably accommodated in the realm of
the “love of wisdom” in the genuinely classical sense.
HIS QUALITIES
A few words are in place regarding Rawidowicz the man, aside
from his writing, and his teaching, lecturing, editing and organiz­
ing. This writer had the privilege of having enjoyed a close per­
sonal friendship with Rawidowicz during his Brandeis University
years and can fully subscribe to the following lines of the conclud­
ing section of the biographical essay on “The Life and Writings of
Simon Rawidowicz,” written by his son Benjamin Ravid:
A factual account of a man’s life . . . is a much easier task
than an attempt to revive the character, personality, and
temperament of the living man. This brief account of the
life of Simon Rawidowicz . . . can hardly do justice to his
personality, nor does it give an adequate impression of the
human qualities that endeared him to his friends, col­
leagues, and students. . . His warmth, sincerity, and gra­
ciousness . . . his lively sense of humor and wit, his honest
modesty were all expressions of his strong intellect and