Page 97 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 44

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FABER / ELIEZER SCHWEID’S CONTRIBUTIONS
85
Hirschensohn
(Hebrew, Jerusalem, 1978), contains guidelines as to
how a Jewish State, governed by and for the people, can function
effectively in consonance with the principles o f Jewish law.
Although not every idea suggested in this volume can be said to
be of practical application, ample philosophic and sociological
data is presented which can serve to stimulate further fruitful
dialog.
PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES
Prof. Schweid’s preoccupation with the history of Jewish phi­
losophy commenced with his Hebrew doctoral dissertation at the
Hebrew University,
Critique ofAristotelianism in the Systems ofJewish
Philosophy
(Jerusalem, 1962). He has continued to devote pains­
taking attention to various schools of philosophy so as to analyze
their substance and methodology, and to discover possible rela­
tionships with contemporary non-Jewish thought systems. His
works in this area may be divided chronologically into two parts:
1. Medieval Jewish philosophy discussed in monographic
units, some of which are identified by the respective authors in
the titles, e.g.:
Studies in Maimonides’ Eight Chapters
(Hebrew,
Jerusalem , 1965);
The Book o f Principles by Rabbi Joseph Albo
(Hebrew, Jerusalem, 1967); and
The Religious Philosophy ofHasdai
Crescas
(Hebrew, Jerusalem, 1970). Schweid seeks to discover
affinities between biblical-rabbinic concepts in these works with
ideas from Greek philosophy which in the course of time filtered
through into the realm of Jewish discourse. His mastery in this
field is further reflected in his
History of Jewish Philosophy from
Saadiah Gaon to Maimonides
(Hebrew, Jerusalem, 1967).
2. Prof. Schweid’s
History of Jewish Thought in Modern Times
(Hebrew, Jerusalem , 1977) presents an overview o f Jewish
thought in the 18th-19th centuries, a period marked by revolu­
tionary transformations in the socio-political structure of Eu­
rope. The new order called for nationalistic centralization which
would not tolerate “foreign” organisms, such as the independent
Jewish community of the middle ages, to continue in its midst.
Jews, on their part, reacted with demands for equal rights of citi­
zenship. In the work at hand, Schweid analyzes these reactions in
depth, starting with the Haskalah movement in Germany, follow­
ing its development in both Western and Eastern Europe, and
culminating in the phenomenon of Nationalism-Zionism. The