Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig on Mitzvot

Öffentlicher Abend zur Martin-Buber-Tagung in englischer Sprache
Termin: 28.03.2023
Beginn: 19:00 Uhr
Ort: Katholische Akademie in Berlin, Hannoversche Str. 5, 10115 Berlin

Intrareligious Plurality: Rosenzweig and Buber On the Divine Commandments

Rosenzweig gradually rediscovered Judaism after a frightening existential crisis. In the process of his return to Judaism, the traditional mitsvot became for him essential. His older friend Buber, on the contrary, deemed that no special formal acts to relate to God were required since every aspect of life had to be hallowed. He had reimagined Hasidism as a way of life that could be lived by the Jews in the land of Yisrael.
Jewish prayer is brim with love for the divine commandments. However, there are different interpretations of what exactly is commanded. In an intrareligious pluralism, different interpretations of commandments exist together. A historical discussion of the dispute between Buber and Rosenzweig allows us to consider two complementary paths. I argue that with all their differences, the two friends were perhaps less far from each other than is usually thought. In a first step, I pay attention to their undeniable differences on the question of the mitsvot. In a second step, I show that their different paths are not incompatible, certainly in view of Rosenzweig’s concept of the New Law with its eminent social dimension.

Prof. Ephraim Meir is Professor emeritus of modern Jewish Philosophy at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel. From 2009 until 2017, he was the Levinas guest Professor for Jewish Dialogue Studies and Interreligious Theology at the Academy of World Religions, University of Hamburg. From August until December 2018 he was research fellow at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton. For a few months in 2021 and 2022 he was a fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, South Africa. He is President of the International Rosenzweig Society.
Among his more recent works are: Identity Dialogically Constructed (2011), Differenz und Dialog (2011), Between Heschel and Buber (2012; with A. Even-Chen), Dialogical Thought and Identity (2013), Interreligious Theology. Its Value and Mooring in modern Jewish Philosophy (2015), Becoming Interreligious (2017), Old-New Jewish Humanism (2018), Faith in the Plural (2019) and The Marvel of Relatedness (2021).

Eine Veranstaltung des Berlin Center for Intellectual Diaspora an der Katholischen Akademie in Berlin e.V.

Weitere Informationen zur Tagung unter // For more information on the Martin Buber-Conference see:

Prof. Dr. Ephraim Meir
Bar Ilan University, President of the International Rosenzweig Society
Dr. Gesine Palmer
+49 30 28 30 95-0 E-Mail schreiben