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Tikkun in Fackenheim’s leben-denken as a trace of lurianic Kabbalah

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Chapter Summary

As a Jewish "life-thinker", The author argues that Fackenheim embodies an important mode of Jewish thinking through his uniquely neo-Lurianic activism. It is this activism that correlates tikkun to teshuvah. In exploring the traces of tikkun in Fackenheim's To Mend The World, he argues that this Toronto philosopher is not merely doing theology (as Levinas claims). Fackenheim is consciously misreading the forms of a theosophic cosmology toward its next step after Rosenzweig's "speech-thinking" or Sprache-Denken - namely, as "life-thinking" or Leben-Denken. To begin this reflection it is crucial to first review how Lurianic Kabbalah understands tikkun. Fackenheim's self-awareness as a Jewish thinker is remarkable, holding up the ideal of not falling prey to an "unconscious or uncritical Jewish parochialism", especially when addressing Christianity. Once the "holy remnant" becomes an "accidental remnant", Fackenheim sees Zionism as the inevitable collective embodiment of such a historicist hermeneutics.

Keywords: Fackenheim; Leben-Denken; Lurianic Kabbalah; teshuvah; theosophic cosmology; tikkun; Toronto philosopher; Zionism



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