Comment on Weinberg’s Critique

"Comment on Weinberg's Critique," Der Judische Student, Vol. 22, No. 1-2 (February 1925).  Reprinted in Gesammelte Schriften: Band 1.  Reprinted in Leo Strauss: The Early Writings.


What I presented at camp was the very preliminary result of my long-standing preoccupation with the problem of Zionism.  Since I never had the opportunity, either inside or outside the Kartell, for a real debate with the Zionist public, there was no reason to anticipate that I would immediately make contact with my Bundesbruder assembled at Forchtenberg.  I would like to empathize that this was due not to the ostensibly “philosophical” character of my ideas, but merely to the fact that I made the effort to see things as they are, unprejudiced by vulgar Zionist “ideologies,” which are distinguished by a thoughtless application of European categories to Jewish, that is, non-Euoropean, matters (and, concomitantly, by a blathering pomposity).  What seemed “abstract” was in truth the rigorous formulation of our real inner state of affairs.

In order to make my intention as clear as possible I shall proceed from its practical-political effect.  I believe that the grouping of German Jewry into parties no longer corresponds to the spiritual situation of our generation.  The alliance of Zionism and Orthodoxy will have to be replaced by the alliance of Zionism and liberalism.  Today, the enemy is on the Right!  The more we are concerned with doing concrete “cultural” work the clearer it will become that the Zionism that I would like to characterize as primarily political Zionism is liberal, that is, it rejects the absolute submission to the Law and instead makes individual acceptance of traditional contents dependent on one’s own deliberation.

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