Page 167 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 40

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BIALE / GERSHOM SCHOLEM
161
struggle that Scholem described in Jewish history was also the
struggle that informed his own life.
Scholem was one of the last of a generation of Jewish scholars
who combined metaphysical passion with scholarly rigor. He is
justly recognized as a spokesman for Judaism and not just as an
historian for he reached an audience much wider than that of the
specialists. Where historical scholarship can easily sink into dry-
as-dust antiquarianism, Scholem’s work is informed by an
urgency that makes it relevant in a secular age. But, in addition,
Scholem was among the last of those who brought to the study of
Judaica a profound education in European culture. If the at­
tempt by the Jews to find their place in German society vanished
in the smoke of the Holocaust, the work of Gershom Scholem
remains a lasting monument to the fruitful synthesis between
Jewish and European thought.