Martin Buber (Hebrew: מרטין בּוּבֶּר; German: Martin Buber; Yiddish: מארטין בובער; February 8, 1878 – June 13, 1965) was an Austrian-born Israeli Jewish philosopher best known for his philosophy of dialogue, a form of existentialism centered on the distinction between the I–Thou relationship and the I–It relationship. Born in Vienna, Buber came from a family of observant Jews, but broke with Jewish custom to pursue secular studies in philosophy. In 1902, he became the editor of the weekly Die Welt, the central organ of the Zionist movement, although he later withdrew from organizational work in Zionism. In 1923, Buber wrote his famous essay on existence, Ich und Du (later translated into English as I and Thou), and in 1925, he began translating the Hebrew Bible into the German language.
|Born||February 8, 1878|
|Died||June 13, 1965 (aged 87)|
|Ich-Du (I–Thou) and Ich-Es (I–It)|
Martin (Hebrew name: מָרְדֳּכַי, Mordechaj) Buber was born in Der Franz-Josefs-Kai 45/Heinrichsgasse 8, der Innere Stadt (1 Wien), City of Vienna, to an Orthodox Jewish family. He was a son of Castiel "Karl" Salomon Buber (Hebrew: קסטיאל "קאַרל" שְׁלֹמֹה בּוּבּר, Yiddish: קסטיאל בּן-שְׁלֹמֹה בּוּבּער, 1848, Lemberg–1935, Lemberg), the son of Salomon Buber, and Elise Wurgast (Yiddish: עליזע וווּרגאַסט, 1858, Odessa–?). Buber was a direct descendant of the 16th-century rabbi Meir Katzenellenbogen, known as the Maharam of Padua. Karl Marx is another notable relative. After the divorce of his parents when he was three years old, he was raised by his grandfather in Lvov. His grandfather Salomon Buber (1827, Lemberg–1906, Lemberg), was a scholar of Midrash and Rabbinic Literature. At home, Buber spoke Yiddish and German. In 1892, Buber returned to his father's house in Lemberg, today's Lviv, Ukraine.
Despite Buber's connection to the Davidic line as a descendant of Katzenellenbogen, a personal religious crisis led him to break with Jewish religious customs. He began reading Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, and Friedrich Nietzsche. The latter two, in particular, inspired him to pursue studies in philosophy. In 1896, Buber went to study in Vienna (philosophy, art history, German studies, philology).
In 1898, he joined the Zionist movement, participating in congresses and organizational work. In 1899, while studying in Zürich, Buber met his future wife, Paula (Judith) Buber (née Winkler), a "brilliant Catholic writer from a Bavarian peasant family" who later converted to Judaism.
Buber, initially, supported and celebrated the Great War as a 'world historical mission' for Germany along with Jewish intellectuals to civilize the Near East.
In 1930, Buber became an honorary professor at the University of Frankfurt am Main, but resigned from his professorship in protest immediately after Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933. He then founded the Central Office for Jewish Adult Education, which became an increasingly important body as the German government forbade Jews from public education. In 1938, Buber left Germany and settled in Jerusalem, Mandate Palestine, receiving a professorship at Hebrew University and lecturing in anthropology and introductory sociology.
Buber's wife Paula died in 1958, and he died at his home in the Talbiya neighborhood of Jerusalem on June 13, 1965. They had two children: a son, Rafael Buber (husband of Margarete Buber-Neumann née Thüring), and a daughter, Eva Strauss-Steinitz (wife of Ludwig Strauß).
Buber's evocative, sometimes poetic, writing style marked the major themes in his work: the retelling of Hasidic and Chinese tales, Biblical commentary, and metaphysical dialogue. A cultural Zionist, Buber was active in the Jewish and educational communities of Germany and Israel. He was also a staunch supporter of a binational solution in Palestine, and, after the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel, of a regional federation of Israel and Arab states. His influence extends across the humanities, particularly in the fields of social psychology, social philosophy, and religious existentialism.
Buber's attitude toward Zionism was tied to his desire to promote a vision of "Hebrew humanism". According to Laurence J. Silberstein, the terminology of "Hebrew humanism" was coined to "distinguish [Buber's] form of nationalism from that of the official Zionist movement" and to point to how "Israel's problem was but a distinct form of the universal human problem. Accordingly, the task of Israel as a distinct nation was inexorably linked to the task of humanity in general".
Approaching Zionism from his own personal viewpoint, Buber disagreed with Theodor Herzl about the political and cultural direction of Zionism. Herzl envisioned the goal of Zionism in a nation-state, but did not consider Jewish culture or religion necessary. In contrast, Buber believed the potential of Zionism was for social and spiritual enrichment. For example, Buber argued that following the formation of the Israeli state, there would need to be reforms to Judaism: "We need someone who would do for Judaism what Pope John XXIII has done for the Catholic Church". Herzl and Buber would continue, in mutual respect and disagreement, to work towards their respective goals for the rest of their lives.
In 1902, Buber became the editor of the weekly Die Welt, the central organ of the Zionist movement. However, a year later he became involved with the Jewish Hasidim movement. Buber admired how the Hasidic communities actualized their religion in daily life and culture. In stark contrast to the busy Zionist organizations, which were always mulling political concerns, the Hasidim were focused on the values which Buber had long advocated for Zionism to adopt. In 1904, he withdrew from much of his Zionist organizational work, and devoted himself to study and writing. In that year, he published his thesis, Beiträge zur Geschichte des Individuationsproblems, on Jakob Böhme and Nikolaus Cusanus.
In the early 1920s, Martin Buber started advocating a binational Jewish-Arab state, stating that the Jewish people should proclaim "its desire to live in peace and brotherhood with the Arab people, and to develop the common homeland into a republic in which both peoples will have the possibility of free development".
Buber rejected the idea of Zionism as just another national movement, and wanted instead to see the creation of an exemplary society; a society which would not, he said, be characterized by Jewish domination of the Arabs. It was necessary for the Zionist movement to reach a consensus with the Arabs even at the cost of the Jews remaining a minority in the country. In 1925, he was involved in the creation of the organization Brit Shalom (Covenant of Peace), which advocated the creation of a binational state, and throughout the rest of his life, he hoped and believed that Jews and Arabs one day would live in peace in a joint nation. In 1942, he co‑founded the Ihud party, which advocated a bi-nationalist program. Nevertheless, he was connected with decades of friendship to Zionists and philosophers such as Chaim Weizmann, Max Brod, Hugo Bergman, and Felix Weltsch, who were close friends of his from old European times in Prague, Berlin, and Vienna to the Jerusalem of the 1940s through the 1960s.
From 1906 until 1914, Buber published editions of Hasidic, mystical, and mythic texts from Jewish and world sources. In 1916, he moved from Berlin to Heppenheim.
During World War I, he helped establish the Jewish National Committee to improve the condition of Eastern European Jews. During that period he became the editor of Der Jude (German for "The Jew"), a Jewish monthly (until 1924). In 1921, Buber began his close relationship with Franz Rosenzweig. In 1922, he and Rosenzweig co-operated in Rosenzweig's House of Jewish Learning, known in Germany as Lehrhaus.
In 1923, Buber wrote his famous essay on existence, Ich und Du (later translated into English as I and Thou). Though he edited the work later in his life, he refused to make substantial changes. In 1925, he began, in conjunction with Franz Rosenzweig, translating the Hebrew Bible into German. He himself called this translation Verdeutschung ("Germanification"), since it does not always use literary German language, but instead attempts to find new dynamic (often newly invented) equivalent phrasing to respect the multivalent Hebrew original. Between 1926 and 1930, Buber co-edited the quarterly Die Kreatur ("The Creature").
In 1930, Buber became an honorary professor at the University of Frankfurt am Main. He resigned in protest from his professorship immediately after Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933. On October 4, 1933, the Nazi authorities forbade him to lecture. In 1935, he was expelled from the Reichsschrifttumskammer (the National Socialist authors' association). He then founded the Central Office for Jewish Adult Education, which became an increasingly important body, as the German government forbade Jews to attend public education. The Nazi administration increasingly obstructed this body.
Finally, in 1938, Buber left Germany, and settled in Jerusalem, then capital of Mandate Palestine. He received a professorship at Hebrew University, there lecturing in anthropology and introductory sociology. The lectures he gave during the first semester were published in the book The problem of man (Das Problem des Menschen); in these lectures he discusses how the question "What is Man?" became the central one in philosophical anthropology. He participated in the discussion of the Jews' problems in Palestine and of the Arab question – working out of his Biblical, philosophic, and Hasidic work.
He became a member of the group Ihud, which aimed at a bi-national state for Arabs and Jews in Palestine. Such a binational confederation was viewed by Buber as a more proper fulfillment of Zionism than a solely Jewish state. In 1946, he published his work Paths in Utopia, in which he detailed his communitarian socialist views and his theory of the "dialogical community" founded upon interpersonal "dialogical relationships".
Buber is famous for his thesis of dialogical existence, as he described in the book I and Thou. However, his work dealt with a range of issues including religious consciousness, modernity, the concept of evil, ethics, education, and Biblical hermeneutics.
Buber rejected the label of "philosopher" or "theologian", claiming he was not interested in ideas, only personal experience, and could not discuss God, but only relationships to God.
Politically, Buber's social philosophy on points of prefiguration aligns with that of anarchism, though Buber explicitly disavowed the affiliation in his lifetime and justified the existence of a state under limited conditions.
In I and Thou, Buber introduced his thesis on human existence. Inspired by Feuerbach's The Essence of Christianity and Kierkegaard's Single One, Buber worked upon the premise of existence as encounter. He explained this philosophy using the word pairs of Ich-Du and Ich-Es to categorize the modes of consciousness, interaction, and being through which an individual engages with other individuals, inanimate objects, and all reality in general. Theologically, he associated the first with the Jewish Jesus and the second with the apostle Paul (formerly Saul of Tarsus, a Jew). Philosophically, these word pairs express complex ideas about modes of being—particularly how a person exists and actualizes that existence. As Buber argues in I and Thou, a person is at all times engaged with the world in one of these modes.
The generic motif Buber employs to describe the dual modes of being is one of dialogue (Ich-Du) and monologue (Ich-Es). The concept of communication, particularly language-oriented communication, is used both in describing dialogue/monologue through metaphors and expressing the interpersonal nature of human existence.
Ich‑Du ("I‑Thou" or "I‑You") is a relationship that stresses the mutual, holistic existence of two beings. It is a concrete encounter, because these beings meet one another in their authentic existence, without any qualification or objectification of one another. Even imagination and ideas do not play a role in this relation. In an I–Thou encounter, infinity and universality are made actual (rather than being merely concepts). Buber stressed that an Ich‑Du relationship lacks any composition (e. g., structure) and communicates no content (e. g., information). Despite the fact that Ich‑Du cannot be proven to happen as an event (e. g., it cannot be measured), Buber stressed that it is real and perceivable. A variety of examples are used to illustrate Ich‑Du relationships in daily life—two lovers, an observer and a cat, the author and a tree, and two strangers on a train. Common English words used to describe the Ich‑Du relationship include encounter, meeting, dialogue, mutuality, and exchange.
One key Ich‑Du relationship Buber identified was that which can exist between a human being and God. Buber argued that this is the only way in which it is possible to interact with God, and that an Ich‑Du relationship with anything or anyone connects in some way with the eternal relation to God.
To create this I–Thou relationship with God, a person has to be open to the idea of such a relationship, but not actively pursue it. The pursuit of such a relation creates qualities associated with It‑ness, and so would prevent an I‑You relation, limiting it to I‑It. Buber claims that if we are open to the I–Thou, God eventually comes to us in response to our welcome. Also, because the God Buber describes is completely devoid of qualities, this I–Thou relationship lasts as long as the individual wills it. When the individual finally returns to the I‑It way of relating, this acts as a barrier to deeper relationship and community.
The Ich-Es ("I‑It") relationship is nearly the opposite of Ich‑Du. Whereas in Ich‑Du the two beings encounter one another, in an Ich‑Es relationship the beings do not actually meet. Instead, the "I" confronts and qualifies an idea, or conceptualization, of the being in its presence and treats that being as an object. All such objects are considered merely mental representations, created and sustained by the individual mind. This is based partly on Kant's theory of phenomenon, in that these objects reside in the cognitive agent’s mind, existing only as thoughts. Therefore, the Ich‑Es relationship is in fact a relationship with oneself; it is not a dialogue, but a monologue.
In the Ich-Es relationship, an individual treats other things, people, etc., as objects to be used and experienced. Essentially, this form of objectivity relates to the world in terms of the self – how an object can serve the individual’s interest.
Buber argued that human life consists of an oscillation between Ich‑Du and Ich‑Es, and that in fact Ich‑Du experiences are rather few and far between. In diagnosing the various perceived ills of modernity (e. g., isolation, dehumanization, etc.), Buber believed that the expansion of a purely analytic, material view of existence was at heart an advocation of Ich‑Es relations - even between human beings. Buber argued that this paradigm devalued not only existents, but the meaning of all existence.
Ich und Du has been translated from the original German into many other languages. However, because Buber's use of German was highly idiomatic and often unconventional, there has naturally been debate on how best to convey the complex messages in his text. One critical debate in the English-speaking world has centered on the correct translation of the key word pairs Ich-Du and Ich-Es. In the German, the word "Du" is used, while in the English two different translations are used: "Thou" (used in Ronald Smith's version) and "You" (used by Walter Kaufmann). The key problem is how to translate the very personal, even intimate German "Du", which has no direct equivalent in Modern English. Smith argued that "Thou" invokes the theological and reverential implications which Buber intended (e. g., Buber describes God as the eternal "Du"). Kaufmann asserted that this wording was archaic and impersonal, offering "You" because (like the German Du) it has colloquial usage in intimate conversation.
Despite this debate, Buber’s book is widely known in the English-speaking world as I and Thou, perhaps because Smith's translation appeared years before Kaufmann's. However, both translations are widely available.
Buber was a scholar, interpreter, and translator of Hasidic lore. He viewed Hasidism as a source of cultural renewal for Judaism, frequently citing examples from the Hasidic tradition that emphasized community, interpersonal life, and meaning in common activities (e. g., a worker's relation to his tools). The Hasidic ideal, according to Buber, emphasized a life lived in the unconditional presence of God, where there was no distinct separation between daily habits and religious experience. This was a major influence on Buber's philosophy of anthropology, which considered the basis of human existence as dialogical.
In 1906, Buber published Die Geschichten des Rabbi Nachman, a collection of the tales of the Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, a renowned Hasidic rebbe, as interpreted and retold in a Neo-Hasidic fashion by Buber. Two years later, Buber published Die Legende des Baalschem (stories of the Baal Shem Tov), the founder of Hasidism.
Buber's interpretation of the Hasidic tradition, however, has been criticized by Chaim Potok for its romanticization. In the introduction to Buber's Tales of the Hasidim, Potok claims that Buber overlooked Hasidism's "charlatanism, obscurantism, internecine quarrels, its heavy freight of folk superstition and pietistic excesses, its tzadik worship, its vulgarized and attenuated reading of Lurianic Kabbalah". Even more severe is the criticism that Buber de-emphasized the importance of the Jewish Law in Hasidism.
Chinesische Geister- und Liebesgeschichten included the first German translation ever made of Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio. Alex Page translated the Chinesische Geister- und Liebesgeschichten as "Chinese Tales", published in 1991 by Humanities Press.
Werke 3 volumes (1962–1964)
Martin Buber Werkausgabe (MBW). Berliner Akademie der Wissenschaften / Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, ed. Paul Mendes-Flohr & Peter Schäfer with Martina Urban; 21 volumes planned (2001–)
Briefwechsel aus sieben Jahrzehnten 1897–1965 (1972–1975)
Several of his original writings, including his personal archives, are preserved in the National Library of Israel, formerly the Jewish National and University Library, located on the campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
...the retort he actually made, namely, that a scientist should not make judgments beyond his science. Such an insistence on hard and fast boundaries among sciences is not in the spirit of Buber's empiricism
"A Report to an Academy" (German: "Ein Bericht für eine Akademie") is a short story by Franz Kafka, written and published in 1917. In the story, an ape named Red Peter, who has learned to behave like a human, presents to an academy the story of how he effected his transformation. The story was first published by Martin Buber in the German monthly Der Jude, along with another of Kafka's stories, "Jackals and Arabs" ("Schakale und Araber"). The story appeared again in a 1919 collection titled Ein Landarzt (A Country Doctor).Buber-Rosenzweig-Medal
The Buber-Rosenzweig-Medaille is an annual prize awarded since 1968 by the Deutscher Koordinierungsrat der Gesellschaften für Christlich-Jüdische Zusammenarbeit
(DKR; German Coordinating Council of Societies for Christian-Jewish Cooperation) to individuals, initiatives, or institutions, which have actively contributed to Christian–Jewish understanding. Forty-four different societies belong to the DKR. The name of the prize honors the memory of the Austrian-Jewish philosopher, translator, and educator Martin Buber (1878–1965) and the German-Jewish theologian Franz Rosenzweig (1886–1929). In its inaugural year, the prize was granted to both the historian Friedrich Heer (Gottes erste Liebe; God's First Love) and the Protestant theologian Friedrich-Wilhelm Marquardt (Die Entdeckung des Judentums für die christliche Theologie: Israel im Denken Karl Barths; The Discovery of Judaism for Christian Theology: Israel in the Thought of Karl Barths).Civil Disobedience (Thoreau)
Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War (1846–1848).Der Jude
Der Jude (The Jew) was a monthly magazine in German founded by Martin Buber and Salman Schocken. It was published from 1916 to 1928.Dialogue
Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American English) is a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people, and a literary and theatrical form that depicts such an exchange. As a narrative, philosophical or didactic device, it is chiefly associated in the West with the Socratic dialogue as developed by Plato, but antecedents are also found in other traditions including Indian literature.In the 20th century, philosophical treatments of dialogue emerged from thinkers including Mikhail Bakhtin, Paulo Freire, Martin Buber, and David Bohm. Although diverging in many details, these thinkers have articulated a holistic concept of dialogue as a multi-dimensional, dynamic and context-dependent process of creating meaning. Educators such as Freire and Ramón Flecha have also developed a body of theory and techniques for using egalitarian dialogue as a pedagogical tool.Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses
The Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses (Danish: Opbyggelige Taler), sometimes called the Eighteen Edifying Discourses, is a collection of discourses produced by Søren Kierkegaard during the years of 1843 and 1844. Although he published some of his works using pseudonyms, these discourses were signed his own name as author. His discourses stress love, joy, faith, gratitude, thanksgiving, peace, adversity, impartiality, and equality before God and recommends them to the single individual.
These discourses are not the same as a sermon because a sermon is preached to a congregation while a discourse can be carried on between several people or even with oneself. These discourses or conversations should be "upbuilding", which means one would build up the other person, or oneself, rather than tear down in order to build up. Kierkegaard said: "Although this little book (which is called 'discourses,' not sermons, because its author does not have authority to 'preach', "upbuilding discourses," not discourses for upbuilding, because the speaker by no means claims to be a 'teacher') wishes to be only what it is, a superfluity, and desires only to remain in hiding".
He also wrote that he was without authority and he explained what he meant in his Journals The reason I have always spoken of myself as being without authority is that I personally have felt that there was too much of the poetic in me, furthermore that I feel aided by something higher, and also that I am put together backwards, but then, too, because I perceive that the profound suffering of my life and also my guilt make me need an enormous measure of Christianity, while at the same time I am fearful of making it too heavy for someone who may not need so great a measure. Of course neither the God-man nor an apostle can have such a concern-but then I am just a poor human being.
Soren Kierkegaard, Journals and Papers VI 289 n. 6587 (1850)
Martin Buber discussed his idea of the Single One this way: Kierkegaard’s “to become a Single One” is, as we have seen, not meant Socratically. The goal of this becoming is not the “right” life, but the entry into a relation. “To become” means here to become for something, “for” in the strict sense which simply transcends the circle of the person himself. It means to be made ready for the one relation which can be entered into only by the Single One, the one; the relation for whose man exists. This relation is an exclusive one, the exclusive one, and this means, according to Kierkegaard, that it is the relations which in virtue of its unique essential life expels all other relations into the realm of the unessential. “Everyone should be chary about having to do with ‘the others’, and should essentially speak only with God and with himself,” he says in the exposition of the category. Everyone, so it is to be understood, because everyone can be the one. Martin Buber, Between Man And Man, translated by Ronald Gregor Smith, 1947 p. 50Franz Kafka and Judaism
Beginning with the correspondence between Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem (or possibly before that, when Martin Buber became one of Franz Kafka's first publishers) interpretations, speculations, and reactions to Kafka's Judaism became so substantial during the 20th century as to virtually constitute an entire minor literature. Meditations about how and to what extent Kafka anticipated or represented the incoming Holocaust of the European Jewry comprise a major component of most scholarship along these lines.Hanseatic Goethe Prize
The Hanseatic Goethe Prize (German: Hansischer Goethe-Preis) is a German literary and artistic award, given biennially since 1949 to a figure of European stature.
Past winners include:
2005 Ariane Mnouchkine
2003 Cees Nooteboom
2001 Pina Bausch
1999 Ryszard Kapuściński
1997 Harald Weinrich
1995 Nikolaus Harnoncourt
1961 Benjamin Britten
1956 Paul Tillich
1955 T. S. Eliot
1951 Martin Buber
Carl Friedrich von WeizsäckerI and Thou
Ich und Du, usually translated as I and Thou (You), is a book by Martin Buber, published in 1923, and first translated from German to English in 1937.Ihud
Ihud (Hebrew: איחוד, 'Unity') was a small binationalist Zionist political party founded by Judah Leon Magnes, Martin Buber, Ernst Simon and Henrietta Szold, former supporters of Brit Shalom, in 1942 following the Biltmore Conference.Jackals and Arabs
"Jackals and Arabs" (German: "Schakale und Araber") is a short story by Franz Kafka, written and published in 1917. The story was first published by Martin Buber in the German monthly Der Jude. It appeared again in the collection Ein Landarzt (A Country Doctor) in 1919.Jewish existentialism
Jewish existentialism is a category of work by Jewish authors dealing with existentialist themes and concepts (e.g. debate about the existence of God and the meaning of human existence), and intended to answer theological questions that are important in Judaism. The existential angst of Job is an example from the Hebrew Bible of the existentialist theme. Theodicy and post-Holocaust theology make up a large part of 20th century Jewish existentialism.
Examples of Jewish thinkers and philosophers whose works include existentialist themes are Martin Buber, Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Lev Shestov, Franz Kafka, Franz Rosenzweig, Hans Jonas, Emmanuel Levinas, Hannah Arendt, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Emil Fackenheim.Johann Maier (talmudic scholar)
Johann Maier (15 May 1933 – 16 March 2019) was an Austrian scholar of Judaism, and was founder and for thirty years director of the Martin Buber Institute for Jewish Studies at the University of Cologne. He retired in 1996 and was living in Mittenwald in Upper Bavaria.
Maier was appointed director of the Martin Buber Institute for Jewish Studies at its founding in Spring 1966. This was the second of three faculties of Jewish studies in Germany after the Free University of Berlin (1963, Prof Jacob Taube) and before the University of Frankfurt (1969, Prof. Arnold Goldberg).Neo-Hasidism
Neo-Hasidism is a name given to contemporary Jewish trends of a significant fusing or revival of interest in the teachings of Kabbalah and Hasidism by members of other existing Jewish movements. Among non-Orthodox Jews, this trend stems from the writings of non-Orthodox teachers of Hasidic Judaism like Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Lawrence Kushner, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Arthur Green. This is usually associated with the members of the Jewish Renewal movement. A second form of this trend is found within the Modern Orthodox Jewish community, and is referred to as Neo-Chassidus, involving those who are Modern Orthodox but have taken interest in the works of Hasidic masters.Philosophical anthropology
Philosophical anthropology, sometimes called anthropological philosophy, is a discipline dealing with questions of metaphysics and phenomenology of the human person, and interpersonal relationships.Philosophy of dialogue
Philosophy of dialogue is a type of philosophy based on the work of the Austrian-born Jewish philosopher Martin Buber best known through its classic presentation in his 1923 book I and Thou. For Buber, the fundamental fact of human existence, too readily overlooked by scientific rationalism and abstract philosophical thought, is "man with man", a dialogue which takes place in the "sphere of between" ("das Zwischenmenschliche").Schocken Books
Schocken Books is an offspring of the Schocken Verlag, a publishing company that was established in Berlin in 1931 with a second office in Prague by the Schocken Department Store owner Salman Schocken. It published the writings of Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, Franz Kafka and S. Y. Agnon, among others.
After being closed by the Germans in 1939, Salman Schocken, the owner, who had immigrated from Germany to Palestine in 1934, founded the Hebrew-language Schocken Publishing House in Mandate Palestine. Salman Schocken himself immigrated to the U.S. in 1940. In 1945 he founded the English-language Schocken Books in New York City. In 1987 it was bought up by Random House. Schocken Books continues to publish Jewish literary works.Tales of the Hasidim
Tales of the Hasidim is a book of collected tales by Martin Buber. It is based on stories—both written and spoken—based in the Hasidim. Buber wrote these tales based on the lore of the Baal Shem Tov. Many of the stories are parables passed down via both the written and spoken word.Wickedness
Wickedness is generally considered a synonym for evil or sinfulness. Among theologians and philosophers, it has the more specific meaning of evil committed consciously and of free will. It can also be considered the quality or state of being wicked.The term wickedness dates back to the 1300s and is derived from the words wicked and -ness. Wicked is an extended form of the term wick meaning bad and is also associated with the Old English term wicca meaning wizard. There isn’t a corresponding verb to the term, but the term wretched is also associated with the term. The term -ness is a word forming element denoting action, quality or state and is typically added to an adjective or past participle to make it an abstract noun. It is an Old English term and also comes from the Proto-Germanic term in-assu and many other cognates.As characterized by Martin Buber in his 1952 work Bilder von Gut und Böse (translated as Good and Evil: Two Interpretations), "The first stage of evil is 'sin,' occasional directionlessness. Endless possibility can be overwhelming, leading man to grasp at anything, distracting and busying himself, in order to not have to make a real, committed choice. The second stage of evil is 'wickedness,' when caprice is embraced as a deformed substitute for genuine will and becomes characteristic." Wickedness connotes blameworthiness.
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