Paul de Lagarde

"Paul de Lagarde," Der Jude, Vol. 8, No. 1 (January 1924).  Reprinted in Gesammelte Schriften: Band 2.  Reprinted in Leo Strauss: The Early Writings.


The Jew is in need of an extraordinary measure of reflectiveness; while for the peoples of the world a distance is given from the start, he must first attain it by a great effort.  This reflectiveness is especially characteristic of the Zionist.  Our “renaissance” is not a blossoming of naïve forces, but the effort and achievement of the Jewish mind [Geist] in rendering itself problematic.  It has its origin in the will; it is a morally conditioned phenomenon.  If justice is the capacity to be able to see oneself, if need be, through the eyes of the other, then the Zionist’s concern with the ways and means by which the Jewish essence is mirrored in the mind of other peoples is an act of national justice that is likely to be more than its own reward.  We shall look at Paul de Lagarde’s position on the affairs of the Jewish nation from this point of view.

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