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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. 


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 
antiquated ? 

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 


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. 

A. Wolf. 


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) 
in 8°.) 

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).