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The Freedom of Lights: Edmond Jabès and Jewish Philosophy of Modernity

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Przemyslaw Tacik

Edmond Jabès was one of the most intriguing Jewish thinkers of the 20th century – a poet for the public and a Kabbalist for those who read his work more closely. This book turns his writings into a ground-breaking philosophical achievement: thinking which is manifestly indebted to the Kabbalah, but in the post-religious and post-Shoah world. Loss, exile, negativity, God’s absence, writing and Jewishness are the main signposts of the negative ontology which this book offers as an interpretation of Jabès’ work. On the basis of it, the book examines the nature of the miraculous encounter between Judaism and philosophy which occurred in the 20th century. Modern Jewish philosophy is a re-constructed tradition which adapts the intellectual and spiritual legacy of Judaism to answer purely modern questions.

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Index

A

Absence 14, 27, 6768, 74, 101, 110111, 116119, 127, 130131, 137138, 140, 143, 146148, 162168, 171174, 198, 205, 215220, 224, 231, 256, 259, 265, 273, 277282, 284, 288289, 298299, 310311, 315318, 320, 347, 349, 351353, 364, 367, 380, 384387

Abulafia, Abraham 155157, 332333

Agamben, Giorgio 113, 180, 201, 207, 266, 285289, 291, 387

Anti-Semitism 20, 77, 88, 251, 277278, 280, 282, 284, 286, 288, 290, 292, 294303

Aristotle [note: Aristotle is also referred to as „Stagirite“] 18, 31, 51, 54, 135, 141, 172173, 213, 387

Athens and Jerusalem 1217, 3134, 4142, 61, 64, 84, 111, 161, 176177, 360, 367, 373, 394

Auschwitz 14, 40, 75, 7778, 9192, 138, 163, 179, 261, 279, 281285, 288294, 302, 325, 370, 380381, 387, 391393

Auster, Paul 11, 21, 80, 89, 91, 99, 295, 378380, 388

B

Bataille, Georges 60, 100

Benjamin, Walter 12, 1415, 17, 19, 21, 26, 28, 38, 4041, 67, 72, 91, 93, 119, 126, 139, 201, 205, 206207, 237, 310, 315317, 322, 374375, 378, 384, 388, 390393

Bible 3233, 74, 213, 226, 239, 368, 381, 387

Bielik-Robson, Agata 13, 139, 388

Blanchot, Maurice 11, 13, 20, 3739, 63, 6871, 79, 81, 8991, 99100, 102, 113, 140, 163, 198, 220221, 240, 251, 266, 277, 293, 314, 334, 379, 385, 388, 392, 394

Bloch, Ernst 14, 28, 207, 375

Bloom, Harold 12, 27, 31, 3537, 41, 44, 132, 149, 388, 397

Bounoure, Gabriel 20, 74, 91, 139, 204, 225, 241, 353354, 379

Boyer, Philippe 19, 379, 389

Brown, Llewellyn 21, 60, 141142, 189, 353354, 380, 391, 394

C

Cahen, Didier 21, 6768, 73, 7577, 80, 90, 95, 113, 201, 226, 369, 370, 380381

Catastrophe 27, 71, 78, 98, 105110, 114115, 118120, 127, 129130, 133, 139, 143, 151, 168, 204, 206, 209, 222, 283, 288, 313

Caws, Mary Ann 21, 8485, 243, 378387

Celan, Paul 21, 62, 64, 74, 7779, 9091, 102, 170171, 259, 280281, 288290, 293295, 313, 316, 382383, 389390, 394395

Cohen, Hermann 12

Cohen, Marcel 21, 76, 81, 95, 97, 126, 136, 165, 269, 280, 314, 381

Cordovero, Moshe 35, 37, 125, 272, 340, 345

Creation 13, 27, 2930, 3233, 3537, 39, 44, 7273, 105106, 115120, 122130, 137139, 143, 148, 150151, 155157, 161, 164, 169171, 174, 184, 196, 245, 266, ←397 | 398→283, 288, 290292, 298, 309314, 326, 335337, 345347, 351352, 355356

D

Death 1314, 27, 40, 42, 45, 57, 6875, 7780, 8285, 91, 99, 101, 113115, 117119, 136, 145, 149, 163, 166, 169, 185, 188189, 191, 193, 198, 208209, 215216, 220221, 225, 230231, 240, 243, 249250, 256, 263264, 266267, 270, 272, 279, 283, 289291, 296, 298, 302, 313, 319322, 324, 327, 329, 348, 350, 353354, 381, 388, 395

Debrauwere-Miller, Nathalie 138139, 351352, 381

Del Nevo, Matthew 74, 135, 213, 273, 332, 336, 381

Derrida, Jacques 11, 17, 19, 2022, 31, 34, 4145, 47, 54, 60, 67, 81, 8991, 93, 96, 102103, 111, 122123, 128, 135, 137, 142, 150151, 153, 158159, 161162, 185, 207, 219, 223, 250, 252, 255, 259260, 286, 293, 297, 310311, 327, 332, 340, 343344, 350, 368369, 371375, 381, 384, 389390

Desert 11, 37, 43, 45, 48, 6970, 73, 8288, 9095, 97, 101, 114, 136138, 152, 161163, 199, 201, 207, 216, 220, 229, 232233, 242, 255, 257, 262, 270271, 274, 301, 303, 317318, 320325, 327, 329, 337, 338, 349350, 353, 355, 375, 377, 397

Difference 1416, 1920, 22, 3133, 40, 42, 63, 71, 84, 87, 90, 93, 96, 102, 111, 113, 120122, 126, 130, 136137, 143144, 147, 157, 166, 170, 172174, 176177, 186, 192196, 200, 206, 210, 227, 232, 236237, 239, 242, 246, 251, 153, 267269, 273274, 278280, 288, 292, 295, 301302, 311, 321322, 328, 334, 336, 340344, 349350, 353, 356362, 367, 369376, 381, 389

E

Ein–Sof 28, 115116, 123, 128130, 155, 157, 164

Ethics 16, 57, 64, 277, 280, 285, 289, 292293, 305306, 308, 310312, 314, 316, 321324, 327329, 368, 375376, 393

Exile 13, 25, 38, 72, 7982, 8889, 9293, 97, 102, 104, 119120, 145, 163, 242, 250, 256257, 270275, 284, 295, 300, 317, 351352, 366, 369, 383, 386

F

Fernandez-Zoïla, Adolfo 21, 81, 99

Foucault, Michel 4546, 50, 308, 390

Frank, Daniel H. 18, 390

Franke, William 21, 170171, 257, 288289, 298, 335336, 382

Freud, Sigmund 31, 34, 36, 44, 7071, 76, 130, 146, 390

G

Gasché, Rodolphe 5, 54, 60, 343, 390

God 14, 2627, 2930, 3233, 36, 39, 5455, 5860, 63, 68, 72, 76, 82, 85, 9697, 101, 105, 114120, 122, 125, 127130, 135, 137139, 155156, 159, 161177, 180, 185, 190192, 196, 205206, 209, 213, 215220, 223226, 228, 243245, ←398 | 399→249250, 255, 262264, 268, 271273, 275, 277281, 284, 288, 290294, 298299, 302, 307311, 315318, 326, 331332, 334338, 345358, 364365, 367368, 381382, 390391, 394

Gordon, Peter Eli 1718, 393

Greek thinking 34

H

Handelman, Susan A. 3034, 41, 96, 116, 238, 383, 390

Hawkins, Beth 20, 77, 98, 257, 282283

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich 42, 45, 4750, 5253, 5556, 5961, 70, 91, 101, 108, 113, 121, 132, 142, 150, 153, 163, 172, 180181, 184185, 187, 194195, 205207, 209210, 214, 216, 229, 232, 235238, 240241, 246, 262, 285, 289, 302, 306, 332, 335, 347, 357359, 361, 372, 374375, 390392, 395

Heidegger, Martin 1215, 3435, 3839, 42, 45, 54, 57, 6061, 70, 76, 8283, 85, 95, 99, 102, 113, 135, 154, 163, 176, 186, 197, 229, 235, 243, 292294, 303, 314, 322323, 327328, 344, 365, 372, 374375, 391, 395

History 1718, 26, 28, 30, 3334, 38, 4144, 4648, 6162, 71, 77, 86, 92, 100, 106, 108, 112, 123, 126, 129, 133, 139, 171, 176, 180, 190, 205206, 213, 215, 228230, 232233, 237, 251, 254, 256, 260261, 264, 269, 277278, 281284, 287289, 291, 294, 316317, 325, 353, 360361, 367, 379, 382, 384385, 388, 390, 393394, 397

Hospitality 20, 95, 277, 279, 305306, 308, 310, 312, 314, 318330, 366

Hume, David 112, 391

I

Idel, Moshe 27, 219, 244246, 269, 336, 356, 374, 391

Indicible 144150, 153154, 183

Inscription 64, 81, 111, 123, 127, 154, 217, 219, 236, 254255, 266, 268, 338, 342, 361, 372375

J

Jacob, Max 7476, 391

Jaron, Steven 21, 7276, 8889, 93, 102, 249, 383

Jewish philosophy of modernity 1718, 2122, 2526, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 6265, 132, 177, 214, 244245, 247, 249, 253, 274275, 331, 350, 356, 364, 367, 369370, 372375, 397

Jonas, Hans 33, 291292, 391

Judaism 1220, 2527, 2930, 3335, 3741, 4345, 50, 58, 6165, 6769, 7173, 8283, 8890, 92, 98, 103104, 137, 140, 167168, 173, 179, 244245, 249264, 266275, 277, 280, 291, 299, 314, 331, 333, 336, 358361, 364, 366370, 373375, 379, 392, 395

K

Kabbalah 2630, 33, 3537, 39, 41, 44, 73, 88, 92, 9798, 106, 115116, 125, 155, 157, 213, 219, 229, 245, 272, 331333, 335336, 338, 346, 352357, 361, 374, 388, 391, 394395

←399 | 400→

Kafka, Franz 15, 17, 2729, 62, 67, 72, 74, 77, 80, 91, 93, 98, 207, 272273, 293, 322, 338, 375, 383, 390391

Kant, Immanuel 18, 4748, 5061, 63,, 109, 121, 123, 129, 131132, 141, 157, 163, 185, 194195, 202, 206207, 210, 245, 262, 297, 357, 364365, 372, 391392

Kristeva, Julia 76, 101, 135, 389, 392

L

Lacan, Jacques 1314, 2122, 31, 5455, 6061, 81, 120, 122, 158, 171, 191, 214, 226, 245, 266, 286, 308, 357359, 365, 371372, 375, 392

Lang, Berel 282283, 368, 384

Language 22, 25, 3132, 4344, 46, 53, 55, 6871, 7476, 7880, 85, 91, 9799, 101, 109, 111, 117, 119, 125, 128, 130, 139, 147, 149, 155157, 159, 163166, 168171, 173176, 179, 186, 193, 195, 200206, 208, 218, 232233, 243, 254, 257, 263, 265266, 272, 277278, 280282, 284, 286290, 293294, 296298, 301302, 308, 314, 320323, 327, 331333, 335336, 338, 343, 347, 352, 356357, 366367, 374, 380, 382, 392, 395

Laruelle, François 21, 143144, 158, 384

Law 15, 2930, 33, 39, 47, 49, 83, 93, 101, 115, 117118, 122, 124, 127, 129130, 156, 165, 169170, 174, 191, 239, 249, 253, 261262, 265, 270272, 277281, 292, 331, 333334, 338, 354, 357, 365, 378379, 389, 394

Leaman, Oliver 18, 390

Levi, Primo 282, 288, 370371

Lévinas, Emmanuel 1213, 17, 21, 31, 34, 38, 4144, 57, 62, 81, 9091, 99, 102103, 137, 232, 267, 278, 280, 305, 312, 314, 322325, 366, 372, 385, 392

Life 30, 32, 3839, 54, 5657, 64, 6794, 96, 98, 100102, 104, 112114, 128, 130, 139, 145, 149, 180, 188189, 202, 207208, 220223, 225, 227, 232, 239243, 249250, 257, 263, 269, 270274, 283, 289291, 296297, 322, 329, 337, 345, 348, 366, 368, 387

Lipszyc, Adam 18, 139, 392

Luria, Isaac 2728, 3537, 44, 63, 98, 105106, 108, 110, 112, 114122, 124, 126130, 132, 155, 181, 183, 214, 232, 272, 277, 364, 389

M

Mallarmé, Stéphane 7476, 97, 101, 163, 180181, 213214, 235, 238240, 334335, 384, 388, 392

Marx, Karl 42, 45, 56, 205, 207, 317

Messianism 1314, 20, 2830, 3940, 61, 64, 179192, 194, 196, 198, 200202, 205211, 213, 227, 236, 256, 301, 365366, 368, 375, 388

Modernity 1622, 2540, 42, 4465, 67, 92, 104, 130133, 161, 176177, 209, 214, 244247, 249, 251, 253, 262, 268, 273275, 279, 302303, 305, 328329, 331332, 350, 352, 356, 361, 363364, 367375, 379, 386, 388, 397

Monotheism 1314, 25, 3839, 61, 64, 166167, 169, 171173, 175177, 190192, 206, 262, 367368, 375

←400 | 401→

Morgan, Michael L. 1718, 74, 379, 388, 393

Mosès, Stéphane 21, 26, 29, 101, 205, 208, 250, 272, 385, 393

Motte, Warren F. 20, 78, 9697, 101, 136, 139140, 203, 213, 225, 240, 246, 319321, 332333, 385

N

Nachman of Breslov 98, 189

Name 14, 18, 52, 6768, 94, 97, 101, 122, 125, 127, 155157, 161177, 181, 207, 237, 266, 270, 277282, 289290, 295302, 321322, 324325, 327, 332, 335337, 348, 350354, 357, 365, 375, 382, 389, 394

Negative theology 20, 123, 282

Nietzsche, Friedrich 12, 27, 34, 36, 42, 4445, 5254, 57, 6061, 95, 100, 108109, 114, 116, 149, 163, 185, 206207, 229, 303, 306, 322323, 344, 354, 363, 372, 392394

Nothingness 11, 2729, 40, 74, 7879, 82, 85, 87, 95, 110, 138, 161, 164, 167, 169170, 191, 214, 290, 302, 355

O

Ontology 20, 51, 53, 57, 64, 83, 85, 9899, 122, 135136, 138, 140144, 146, 148, 150, 152, 154, 156159, 161162, 164, 166, 168, 170, 172, 174176, 179, 182183, 188, 213, 226227, 277, 305, 308309, 314, 321, 335, 345, 349, 356, 368, 395

P

Perspectivism 27, 63, 109111, 131, 148, 156, 158, 186187, 206, 218, 224, 233, 246247, 266, 271273, 285, 306309, 342343, 356, 359, 364365, 375

Philosophy 1113, 1522, 25026, 28, 3036, 3865, 67, 75, 88, 91, 95, 100, 102103, 105, 108109, 111, 113, 121123, 130133, 135, 136137, 151, 158, 161, 172, 176177, 179181, 194, 203, 206211, 214, 216, 241, 244245, 247, 249, 253, 259, 274275, 278, 280, 292, 305, 307308, 314, 327329, 331332, 340, 342, 344, 350, 352, 356357, 359361, 363376, 380, 384, 388391, 393, 397

Point 16, 1920, 25, 2729, 33, 3639, 42, 4445, 47, 4950, 54, 60, 62, 74, 85, 9092, 97, 106, 108113, 115116, 119, 123125, 127, 129131, 140, 142144, 148, 151154, 158, 161, 164173, 175176, 184186, 188, 190191, 193194, 197201, 203205, 213, 215217, 220, 223, 226227, 232, 235236, 241, 243, 245, 250, 254255, 260, 264, 267268, 271, 274, 278, 281, 283285, 287292, 294, 297298, 300302, 306312, 316318, 320321, 324, 326334, 336363, 365, 367, 370374, 376, 379380, 384, 389

Postmodernism 67, 102, 103

R

Religion 1718, 38, 5961, 63, 67, 73, 86, 90, 135, 139, 172, 179, 249, 252, 256, 260263, 270, 275, 291, 358, 379381, 383, 390392

Repetition 20, 72, 96, 123, 135, 142, 146147, 151, 204, 208209, 219, 224, 253, 268269, 287, 290, ←401 | 402→305314, 316318, 320, 322, 324, 326, 328, 330, 349, 371

Resemblance 20, 91, 94, 96, 101, 213, 225, 227, 231, 265, 305306, 308, 310318, 320, 322, 324, 326, 328, 330, 355, 377378

Rosenzweig, Franz 12, 17, 19, 21, 26, 38, 41, 57, 62, 207, 261, 366, 393394

S

Safed (Tsfat) 3537, 41, 44, 128, 130, 272

Scholem, Gershom 21, 2530, 41, 44, 62, 72, 93, 106, 116, 118, 125, 132, 139, 155157, 165, 168, 196, 219, 230, 269, 272, 331, 333, 345, 353, 367, 373374, 393395

Shestov, Lev 41, 394

Shillony, Helena 21, 97, 101, 138, 164, 266, 332, 352, 386

Shoah 68, 75, 7778, 80, 90, 97, 102, 138, 241, 249251, 277296, 298, 300302, 325, 355, 366, 368371

Stamelman, Richard 21, 85, 99, 150, 235, 378387

Surrealism 73, 7576, 7879, 84, 388

T

Talmud 32, 38, 81, 88, 97, 106, 189, 206, 213, 232, 252253, 271, 280, 289290, 336, 345, 351, 389, 392, 394

Time 1112, 14, 19, 2530, 32, 34, 37, 40, 42, 4749, 5154, 5758, 6163, 6770, 7378, 8284, 88, 9198, 100109, 111112, 114, 117, 119123, 126127, 129132, 135136, 138, 140142, 146, 148150, 152, 154, 158, 161, 168, 170173, 175, 177, 179, 181183, 185190, 192, 194197, 199204, 206210, 213, 215, 217220, 222224, 228231, 233234, 236, 238240, 242244, 250, 252255, 257, 262, 264267, 269270, 272, 274, 277, 280281, 283, 286290, 293295, 297298, 300302, 305309, 311322, 324, 328329, 331335, 338339, 343344, 346352, 355358, 360361, 365367, 369371, 373, 383, 391, 393, 395, 397

Tzimtzum 20, 27, 3637, 44, 63, 98, 105106, 108, 110, 112, 114133, 135137, 139, 141148, 150154, 158, 161162, 166167, 169, 171172, 174176, 179190, 192, 194195, 199, 203206, 209210, 213214, 222, 226228, 230236, 244, 258259, 261, 266, 291292, 294, 300, 327328, 335337, 344, 349, 351, 356, 364365, 367, 371, 375

V

Vocable 101, 126, 135154, 156158, 161, 163, 165, 171177, 180, 183184, 188189, 197, 214, 218, 223, 235, 242, 265266, 270, 273, 287, 300, 334, 364, 385

Void 2728, 36, 38, 55, 78, 86, 101, 106, 109110, 115117, 128, 130, 132, 142, 152, 162, 164169, 171172, 174, 177, 193, 203, 205, 214, 216, 222, 232, 247, 263, 267, 279, 283285, 298, 319, 323, 336337, 352, 356, 365, 367, 385

W

Whiteness 93, 143, 188, 193, 213, 216228, 231, 233236, 245, 247, ←402 | 403→256257, 301, 306307, 319, 327, 329, 341

Word 1213, 16, 19, 2122, 2627, 3132, 3638, 4445, 47, 52, 59, 64, 7074, 76, 78, 8283, 8688, 9697, 101102, 105, 108111, 114, 117118, 124, 126128, 131132, 136140, 146150, 152, 155, 157, 161166, 168, 171, 173175, 177, 180183, 186, 188191, 193198, 200205, 207210, 214, 216, 218, 222228, 230232, 234235, 239242, 244, 246, 253254, 256257, 260, 262268, 270273, 275, 279283, 285, 287290, 293301, 307310, 312313, 319, 321323, 329340, 344346, 350, 352355, 357, 360, 368369, 378, 383, 385

Writer 11, 17, 1920, 23, 33, 35, 6768, 71, 75, 77, 80, 8286, 9293, 96, 98, 108, 110, 118119, 122, 125127, 129, 136137, 139, 145, 149151, 153, 156, 161, 181, 189190, 192, 194, 196198, 200, 205, 213216, 222, 225226, 230, 235236, 238242, 249251, 253, 258259, 264274, 277, 286290, 292296, 299, 313, 327, 329, 335, 349, 354, 365366, 371, 383

Writing 1114, 1617, 1923, 29, 31, 33, 36, 42, 46, 53, 59, 6770, 7278, 8086, 88105, 11011, 114, 119, 122130, 135159, 161162, 165166, 169, 171, 173174, 179192, 194, 196200, 202208, 210211, 214217, 219220, 222231, 234237, 239244, 249262, 264268, 270275, 277, 283, 285, 287289, 294, 296297, 299301, 305, 308, 310, 313, 318320, 331, 333336, 338340, 344345, 348356, 362364, 366, 368369, 371, 375, 378, 380381, 383384, 386, 388389, 392393

Waldrop, Rosemarie 20, 22, 73, 89, 99, 110, 127, 148, 162, 215, 227, 259, 377379, 386387

Wittgenstein, Ludwig 13, 308, 316, 323, 329, 334, 341342, 372, 395

Wolfson, Eliott R. 374, 395

Ž

Žižek, Slavoj 53, 55, 6061, 207, 358359, 375, 395

←403 | 404→ ←404 | 405→