Commentary Magazine


Article Preview

On the Horizon: Freud and the Zohar

- Abstract

SOME months ago I received a brief note, in German, from Chaim Bloch, the eminent student of Judaism, Cabbala, and Hasidism. He wrote that he had seen a review of my book, Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition, in the Day-Journal, and wanted to inform me that he had been acquired with Freud. He enclosed a clipping on himself from a biographical dictionary to let me know who he was. He asked me if he might have an opportunity to look at my book; although he could not read English, he might, with the help of his children, be able to get the meaning out of it.

I read Chaim Bloch’s letter with some amount of excitement. In my book I had advanced the thesis that there were certain relationships between the development of psychoanalysis and the Jewish mystical tradition. But I had provided, in the book, little or no direct evidence of any such connections; indeed, I have several reservations concerning the importance of a direct connection, and especially of the importance of Freud’s having had a scholarly interest in Jewish mysticism. Nevertheless I could not help but be very much interested-for, also in my book, I had mentioned the fact that Freud conversed on such matters with Chaim Bloch. It had not occurred to me that I might be able to communicate with the same Chaim Bloch.



About the Author