T HE J EWISH Q UA R T E R LY R EVIE W, Vol. 106, No. 2 (Spring 2016) 138–144 LAWRENCE J. KAPLAN McGill University ON ‘‘NACHMAN KROCHMAL A ND THE ‘PERPLEXITIES O F T HE TIME’ ’ ’ ( 1887) S OLO M ON S CH ECH T ER ’S sensitively and vigorously written portrait, ‘‘Nachman Krochmal and the ‘Perplexities of the Time’ ’’ (1887), places Krochmal in two different contexts and views him from two quite differ- ent perspectives. Since we possess only a few more primary sources for Krochmal’s life and work than did Schechter, the essay has not lost its value. The piece may be divided into an introduction and three parts. The ﬁrst brieﬂy sketches Krochmal’s life, drawing from ‘‘the accounts of [Leopold] Zunz, [Solomon J.] Rapoport, and [Meir] Letteris,’’ supplemented by various letters. The second part, an overview of that ‘‘grand and deep book,’’ Krochmal’s unﬁnished and posthumously published magnum opus, Guide of the Perplexed of the Time, is the essay’s weakest part, even containing outright errors. Thus, Schechter states that Krochmal dis- cusses ‘‘the ideal gifts bestowed on the various ancient nations’’ and ‘‘the ideal gifts of Israel’’ in two different
Jewish Quarterly Review – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Jun 22, 2016
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