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592 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
DR. J. L. LANDAU'S "NACHMAN KROCHMAL."
Nachman Krochmal, em Hegelianer, von Dr. J. L. Landau. (Berlin,
N.W. 7, Verlag von S. Calvary und Co., 1904, pp. 69.)
In one of his letters, Moses Mendelssohn writes that the zealots
are not altogether wrong in maintaining that secular studies and
enlightenment are sometimes injurious, but their dangerous fallacy
consists in imagining that the progress of enlightenment may be
arbitrarily stopped. The truth of this dictum may be abundantly
illustrated, and in Nachman Krochmal we have an interesting
example. With no slight self-sacriice his poor mother paid annually
the prescribed fine for not sending him to the secular schools, in
order to save little Nachman's mind from the taint of worldly know-
ledge. Before many years had elapsed Nachman Krochmal, equally
poor or even more so, made no less a sacrifice in becoming a sub-
scriber for Hegel's philosophical works. In fact, he appears to have
been the only private subscriber from the whole of Galicia. Scanning
that subscription list the spirit of the age must have smiled a pensive
smile ! In the present pamphlet, the Rev. Dr. Landau, late of
Manchester, now of Johannesburg, traces some of the consequences
of Krochmal's purchase of Hegel's writings.
Nachman Krochmal was certainly one of the most remarkable
personalities among the Jews of the nineteenth century. His
services as the father of Jewish science have been, and are, univer-
sally acknowledged. And yet he is, in a sense, one of the most
neglected, though undeservedly neglected, of Jewish thinkers. His
ambitious work, The New Guide for the Perplexed (literally, The Guide
for the Perplexed of the Time), was not published till more than
a decade after his death. Though more than half a century has
elapsed since it was first published it has only reached a second
edition, and unhappily both editions have been printed in Lemberg,
fully maintaining the unenviable reputation of that town as a place
for spoiling books \ As yet the new but already aging Guide has
1 Dr. Landau, however, charges the printers with a gratuitous blunder
when he asserts (p. 13 n.) that Neboche, on the title-page, is wrong, and
should be Nebuche. The one is as legitimate as the other, cf. Esther iii. 15
with Exod. xiv. 3. See Dr. Friedlander's note, vol. I, p. 7, of his trans-
lation of Maimor ides' Guide. In Buxtorf s Latin translation the headings
are given throughout as More Nevochim, with an 0.
CRITICAL NOTICES 593
not been translated from the original Hebrew into any modern
language. Nor, although Krochmal has had no little share in the
training of some distinguished Hebraists, can one speak of a Krochmal
literature in any language. As regards English readers, the only
source of information accessible to them is Dr. Schechter's delightful
essay in his Studies in Judaism. So there is room for more work in
this direction. Dr. Landau reminds us that the majority of Hebrew
readers are still at the standpoint to which Maimonides' Guide led
them. Is not that also true in a measure of some modern seminaries,
which never seem to get beyond the old answers to older questions,
to the detriment of more living problems and books not yet
Zunz, the friend of Krochmal, and editor of his Guide, has pointed
out long ago that Krochmal relied on the philosophy of Hegel much
in the same way as Maimonides relied on the philosophy of Aristotle.
But, although almost every page of Krochmal s Guide has, according
to Dr. Schechter, blossomed forth into an independent treatise, no
one had hitherto paid any special regard to the exact relation in
which Krochmal stood to Hegelian philosophy. And that is what
Dr. Landau has set himself to determine as precisely as possible.
The pamphlet before us treats of Hegel's influence on Krochmal's
Philosophy of Religion and Logic. In the Introduction, Dr. Landau
gives a succinct and interesting account of Krochmal's life and work.
(Why, by the way, do Dr. Schechter and Dr. Landau go out of their
way to throw cold water on Moses Mendelssohn, seeing that according
to their own accounts Krochmal was such an admirer of the German
Socrates?) In the first chapter he deals with Krochmal's "Philo-
sophy of Religion," as contained in the Guide, chaps. I-1V, and cites
corresponding passages from Hegel. As an appendix to this chapter
there follow two notes on Cabbalistic parallels to certain Hegelian
doctrines. In the second chapter Dr. Landau discusses Krochmal's
"Logic," as contained in the Guide, chaps. XVI and XVII, furnishing
parallel passages from Hegel. The works of Hegel which are quoted
and referred to are the Philosophy of Religion, the Logic, and the
In his Preface to Krochmal's Guide, Zunz states that he inten-
tionally omitted some of Krochmal's references to various books. It
is therefore quite possible that Krochmal himself indicated precisely
his indebtedness to Hegel's works, and that but for Zunz's arbitrary
omissions Dr. Landau's laborious comparison might have been
obviated. But what has become of the manuscript of the Guide ?
Dr. Landau does not say anything about it. So we are probably
meant to assume that it is lost. And, assuming the need for such
594 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
an inquiry, we may state at once that Dr. Landau has made out his
case. There are many unmistakable traces of Hegelian thought in
Krochmal's Guide. Dr. Landau is sure to strengthen his case yet
more when he comes to treat of Krochmal's " Philosophy of History,"
as he promises to do shortly. For, in all probability, it was just in
his attitude towards history that Hegel's influence was most real.
While admitting Dr. Landau's main contention, we owe it to
Krochmal not to forget that his real significance does not depend
on what he assimilated from Hegel. Hegelian modes of thought
and expression were only more or less suitable aids and means to
the evolution and representation of Krochmal's characteristic attitude
to Jewish history and literature. His remarkable familiarity with
Rabbinical literature, and his shrewd insight into its latent wealth —
these were his real merits, and these were peculiarly his own. This
truth seems obscured by Dr. Landau's mode of treatment, though
unintentionally no doubt. Moreover, such merciless dissection of
special passages from Krochmal's Guide, and such minute comparison
with parallel expressions in Hegel, give the essay an appearance of
fragmentariness which does not help to make it pleasant or easy
reading. All this is largely inevitable, and it is not altogether fair
to find fault with Dr. Landau on that account. We only mention it
in order to make a suggestion. A correct edition of Krochmal's
Guide is certainly desirable. One of the chief merits of Dr. Landau's
essay is that it throws light on a number of corrupt or obscure
passages in the extant editions of Krochmal's Guide. Most of
Dr. Landau's material would be very serviceable as notes to a com-
plete text. If Dr. Landau could see his way to undertake the task of
re-editing Krochmal's Guide, with notes, &c, his work would be
altogether more satisfactory both to himself and to his readers.
KARAITE FEASTS AND FASTS.
XJiyW) ,^-J.I i_Ax\)1 ^i 'ix>\J\\ iJUll. Die kariiischen Fest- und
Fasttage, von Samuel ben Moses ha-Maarabi. Herausgegeben
nach einer Berliner Handschrift. Inaugural -Dissertation . . .
von Juda Junowitsch. (Berlin, 1904. 21 u. 35 SS. (Text)
Diese Publication bildet eine Art Fortsetzung zu der von mir in
dieser Zeitschrift (Bd. XVI, 405 ff.) besprochenen Ausgabe des III.
Abschnittes des al-Murschid (ed. Felix Kauffmann, Frkf. a. M., 1903).