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    Gershom Scholem and Franz Kafka's Interpretations of Judaism

    Number of Pages: 12


    Summary of the research paper:

    In twelve pages this paper contrasts and compares these views on Judaism in terms of their similarities and differences. Ten sources are listed in the bibliography.

    Name of Research Paper File: TS14_TEkafjud.rtf

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    Unformatted Sample Text from the Research Paper:
    only occur between different religions but also take place internally, with different sects and theorists seeing variant meanings in terms of personal meaning as well as overall theology. The work  of Franz Kafka and Gershom Scholem may both be seen as Jewish at a fundamental level, with many similarities, but there are also interesting differences. Indeed, it appears that Gershom  Scholem has respect for the work and ideas of Judaism of Kafka. Franz Kafka (1883 -1924) was born Jewish; however, it the early years there appears to be a  real lack of meaning to his spiritual nature. Yet, Jewishness permeates his writing. It may be argued that his lack of commitment and connection to the religion at a younger  age and the later discovery through the travelling theatre troop when they visited Prague many have made a more personal impact (Robertson, 1987). His work was also unrecognised during his  lifetime, which much published only after his death. The work demonstrates Judaism in overt and covert manners and it also apparently unrecognised much of the time by Kafka himself (Robertson,  1987).. Indeed, when looking at the influences of the Kabbalah on the work of Kafka Gershom Scholem saw value in them, and we can start to see the representation  of Judaism in Kafkas work, Scholem stated that "Although unaware of it himself, [Kafkas] writings are a secularized representation of the kabbalistic conception of the world. This is why many  of todays readers find something of the rigorous splendor of the canonical in them-a hint of the Absolute that breaks into pieces" (Scholem p 271, quoted Grozinger, 1994). Indeed,  the respect that is granted may be seen as deeper, with Scholem giving credit to Kafkas work as able to help the deciphering of the meaning of the Kabbalah 

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