By Aubrey L. Glazer
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Additional info for A New Physiognomy of Jewish Thinking: Critical Theory After Adorno as Applied to Jewish Thought
Like notes and musical phrases, angels are constantly fluttering to and fro but their only recognizable form is their temporal guise. It is instructive that the critical theorists draw from Adorno’s willingness to engage that radical imaginary, as modeled in his reflections upon these unsaid angels. 71 The challenge in recovering the metaphysics of musical time remains accessing the imaginal realm. The perception in the philosophic world too often remains that the imagination cannot be trusted.
Wolfson points to the lasting influence of Philo’s ideas until Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677). With the arrival of Spinoza, rational questioning of Jewish faith now becomes possible. Jewish philosophy for Wolfson then begins with Philo and, for all intents and purposes of the historian, ends with Spinoza. Beyond those bookends, there is nothing new, especially in the Diaspora in terms of Jewish philosophy, let alone any significant steps toward a New Thinking in Judaism. 18 New Physiognomy of Jewish Thinking The influence of these and other essentialisms upon Jewish philosophy has greatly limited the evolution of New Thinking in Judaism.
It is what is possible, never the immediately realized, which obstructs utopia; that is why in the middle of the existent it appears abstract. The inextinguishable color comes from the not-existent. Thinking serves it as a piece of existence, as that which, as always negatively, reaches out to the not-existent. Solely the most extreme distance would be the nearness; philosophy is the prism, in which its colors are caught. —Theodor Adorno2 On the Possibility of Jewish Thinking within Machshevet Yisrael In the search for truth, proximity is paradoxically distance.