The issue of historical continuity has been of great interest to Jewish historians and intellectuals from the establishing of the Wissenschaft des Judentums at the beginning of the nineteenth century until our time. In the era of secularization, religious practice and the very identification as a Jew turned out to be a volitional choice of individuals. Therefore, the modern coping with the question "to be or not to be a Jew" necessitated a radical scrutinizing of the essence of Jewish existence, of its shaping power, and of the possibilities of realization of historical continuity vis-a-vis past generations. This study exposes a metaphysical perspective on the issue of historical continuity through a critical view of the writings of Gershom Scholem (1897-1982), who proposed a complicated understanding of the secret of Jewish existence.
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© 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.
- Gershom Scholem
- Jewish historicism
- historical continuity