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Gershom Scholem
From Berlin to Jerusalem and Back
Noam Zadoff

The Tauber Institute Series for the Study of European Jewry

2017 • 344 pp. 15 illus. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"
Biography - Religious / Biography - Philosophers / Philosophers

$40.00 Paperback, 978-1-5126-0113-8
$95.00 Hardcover, 978-1-5126-0112-1

$7.99 Ebook, 978-1-5126-0114-5

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

(Hardcover is un-jacketed.
Cover illustration is for paperback edition only)

“Zadoff excels at explaining just how the course of events in Palestine disappointed Scholem’s expectations.”

New York Review of Books

A new intellectual portrait of a prominent twentieth-century philosopher

German-born Gerhard (Gershom) Scholem (1897–1982), the preeminent scholar of Jewish mysticism, delved into the historical analysis of kabbalistic literature from late antiquity to the twentieth century. His writings traverse Jewish historiography, Zionism, the phenomenology of mystical religion, and the spiritual and political condition of contemporary Judaism and Jewish civilization.

Scholem famously recounted rejecting his parents’ assimilationist liberalism in favor of Zionism and immigrating to Palestine in 1923, where he became a central figure in the German Jewish immigrant community that dominated the nation’s intellectual landscape in Mandatory Palestine. Despite Scholem’s public renunciation of Germany for Israel, Zadoff explores how the life and work of Scholem reflect ambivalence toward Zionism and his German origins.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Zadoff’s deeply researched, carefully considered study of Scholem’s ambivalent place between Zionism and the Germany of his youth will engage readers interested in better understanding the deep connection between the history of Zionism and the world of European thought and culture that Zionists could not leave entirely behind. . . . Highly recommended.”


“In a complex world, Scholem was a complex figure, one whose intellectual and personal lives were simultaneously part of the history of Israel as well as the history of Germany, something Zadoff understands perfectly.”—Sander L. Gilman, Emory University

"A deeply learned, beautifully written, and persuasively argued study of the complex and conflicted life of Gershom Scholem and the multiple worlds he inhabited. Anyone interested in Scholem, the academic study of Judaism and religion, as indeed in the twentieth century fates of liberalism and Zionism has much to learn from this wonderfully compelling study." —Leora Batnitzky, Princeton University

“Essential reading for those interested in German intellectual history, the modern Jewish experience, and the emergence of Zionism.”—Emily J. Levine, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

“Zadoff’s profoundly original biography returns Scholem from the Land of Israel to Europe. Zadoff shows the foremost Zionist intellectual as embedded in Weimar Germany’s intellectual life and becoming, later in his life, an icon of German Jewishness. Brilliant!”—Malachi Haim Hacohen, Duke University


Winner of the 2018 Concordia University Azrieli Institute Award for Best Book in Israel Studies

NOAM ZADOFF is an assistant professor of Jewish studies and history at Indiana University.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:08:31 -0500