By Alan L. Mittleman
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Extra info for Between Kant and Kabbalah: An Introduction to Isaac Breuer's Philosophy of Judaism
The Agudah had been formed in 1912 in Kattowitz (Katowice) in Silesia. Breuer attended with his father, a principal figure in the movement. The Kattowitz conference brought together leading German Orthodox rabbis and traditional luminaries from Eastern Europe. The latter were reluctant to enter into a self-consciously political movement, but they were disturbed by the gains Jewish secularists, socialists, and Zionists were making in Eastern Europe. The interests of the masses of Orthodox Jews could not go unrepresented in the volatile political arena.
The acceptance of the 38 FROM KANT TO KABBALAH Sinai covenant, and the acquiescence of feeling, will, understanding, and reason to Sinai's normative objectivity, would constitute such a synthesis. Furthermore, in that Sinai speaks to a nation, the individual who is engaged by the distinctly Jewish Ellebnis sheds individuality and takes on instead the historical personality of his people. On the basis of this personal revelation, Alfred determines that his life, indeed, that Jewish life, must be fully conditioned by the laws of the Torah in order to be genuine and valid.
Mathematics consists of an application of the laws of our thought (Denkgesetze) and the forms by which we structure our intuition (Anschauungsformen) to a system of symbols. Humanly speaking, however, the operations of mathematics leave us wholly unfree with respect to accepting or rejecting their conclusions. Over and against mathematics, we find ourselves, so to speak, in a situation of complete nonfreedom. If we do not 42 FROM KANT TO KABBALAH want to abandon our entire thought and intuition, we must believe in [the validity of correct mathematical] statements.