Monday, December 30, 2019
Heidegger's debt to Judaism.
Just as Heidegger spoke of the oblivion of being (Seinsvergessenheit) as the obliviousness to the difference between being and beings,9 so Zarader identifies Judaism as what is left unthought at the heart of his thinking. In line with Heidegger's hermeneutic, the more pronounced the concealment, the more profound the disclosure, the more resonant the silence, the more poignant the bearing witness. Particularly relevant to this study is the author's comparison of Heidegger's conception of nothingness and the domain of being's withdrawal to kabbalistic speculation on simsum, the contraction of infinity to create the vacuum within the plenum, the space wherein, paradoxically, what is ostensibly other than that which has no other can come to be.10
When asked in an interview with Dominique Janicaud to respond to Zarader's thesis, Derrida concurred but argued even more forcefully that it was an act of violence on Heidegger's part to disregard Jewish thought so thoroughly and deliberately, a display of disdain that can be explained only as part of an ideological-political agenda,11 a position that curiously accords with Buber's critique of Heidegger's misrepresentation of the mission of the prophets of ancient Israel, or more expansively the Judeo- Christian tradition, which he contrasts with the prophetic essence of the poet as typified by HölderIin.12 Others, such as Frangois Vézin, have drawn an explicit connection between Heidegger's systematic, and apparently conscious, inattentiveness to Jewish philosophers and his apathy toward the millions of Jews brutally and senselessly murdered.13 It is interesting that, in a similar vein, reading against Heidegger's own explicit assertions, Jean-Luc Nancy surmised that his signature idea of Ereignis may have "nothing to do with a destinality engaged solely by the Greeks but everything to do with a different history, one that includes Roman, Judeo-Christian, and 'modern' events in a sense that Heidegger was perhaps never truly capable of apprehending."14
9. Heidegger, Off the Beaten Track, p. 275; Holzwege (GA 5), p. 364.
10. Zarader, Unthought Debt, pp. 130-138.
11. Janicaud, Heidegger in France, pp. 358-359.
12. Buber, Eclipse, p. 73.
13. Babette Babich, Heidegger's Jews: Inclusion/Exclusion and Heidegger's Anti- Semitism.
14. Derrida, Gadamer, and Lacoue-Labarthe, Heidegger, Philosophy, and Politics: The Heidelberg Conference, p. x.
P. 2
From Elliot R. Wolfson's Heidegger and Kabbalah: Hidden Gnosis and the Path of Poiēsis.
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