Freud and the Melancholy Rabbi

Author(s) : Itzik Stein

Freud and the Melancholy Rabbi

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : March 2016
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 136
  • Category :
    Selected Fiction, Biography and Memoir
  • Catalogue No : 37972
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782204053
  • ISBN 10 : 1782204059
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‘One day they will say that Sigmund Freud read the Law with a rabbi, and no one will believe it.’

Vienna, 1903, and two unlikely figures meet: Rashab, the fifth Rabbi of Lubavitch, and Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. Rashab has journeyed from Lubavitch to Vienna with his son, his future successor; the paralysis in his arm and a persistent stutter leading him to this consultation with Freud.

The two men discuss their ideologies — bringing in Kabbalah, psychoanalysis, faith, science — shining a light on their own fears and internal struggles. Freud analyses the details yet further with his distinguished pupil Wilhelm Stekel.

Taking place in a rapidly changing world, this book records a brief meeting between two individuals whose contrasting beliefs will shape the twentieth century.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘Stein’s novel explores insightful points of encounter between Jewish religiosity and psychoanalysis in a thoughtful, elegant and lively prose. Many early practitioners of psychoanalysis, most notably Freud, were Jews who maintained an ambivalent connection with the spiritual traditions of their ancestry. The author portrays a dialogue between Hasidim and the "sciences of the mind", and his creative approach to the subject will remain a timely and important contribution to this most fascinating of topics. A must-read for anyone interested in that which makes spirituality, broadly defined, and the principles and practices of psychoanalysis a foundation for human happiness and growth.’
-- Dr Hune Margulies, poet and philosopher, and founder and director of the Martin Buber Institute for Dialogical Ecology

About the Author(s)

Itzik Stein was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1954. He studied Arts in Buenos Aires before completing his studies in Sociology and Political Sciences at the University of Haifa, Israel. A scholar of Jewish philosophy, he has participated in seminars and lectures on Jewish matters such as religion and assimilation, people and nation, and the dilemma of being Jewish. He has actively participated in Hebrew organizations, generating new perspectives of ancestral matters. In 2005 he published his first book, Malvados, malditos e infames en la Biblia ('The Evil, the Damned, and the Infamous in the Bible'), offering a different perspective on vilified characters in the Old Testament.

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