Hebrew Literature as a “Cipher Scripture”: The Hidden Dialogue between Baruch Kurzweil and Karl Jaspers
Keywords:Karl Jaspers, Baruch Kurzweil, Edmund Husserl, Immanence, Transcendence, Metaphysics, Realism, Cipher
This article unveils and studies the fundamental affinities between the hermeneutics of modern Hebrew literature of Baruch Kurzweil (1907-1972) and the metaphysics of the German existentialist Karl Jaspers (1883-1969), in particular his doctrine of 'Ciphers of Transcendence' (Chiffren der Transzendenz.( Both thinkers shared fundamental evidence regarding the existence of transcendence, whose complex modes of presence in the human world require interpretation. Against this background, they devoted their studies to the scrutiny of the signs of transcendent presence within immanence and to the analysis of the alternating dynamic of discovery-concealment - typical of this presence. The discussion in the article exposes three focal aspects of the hidden dialogue between Kurzweil's hermeneutics of modern Hebrew literature and Jaspers' doctrine of ciphers of transcendence: the distancing from the 'I', 'Immanent transcendence', and the elevation above and beyond immanence. Thereby, both the silent metaphysical anchor in Kurzweil's analysis of specific literary artworks and the hermeneutic productivity underlying Jaspers' metaphysics are manifested.