Franz Rosenzweig Essay and Exhibit
by Arnold BetzThe images in this exhibit have two views: one is a reduced view that you will see when you first click to bring up the image; the second image is the full view of the image, which you can view by clicking on the reduced image.
Franz Rosenzweig (1886-1929) remains among the most influential figures of 20th century European and North American Judaism. Along with Martin Buber and Abraham Heschel, FR is one of the most widely read Jewish thinkers among Christians. The impact of FR's thought is to be felt in a variety of disciplines including education, psychoanalysis, critical study of religion, theology, and Jewish-Christian dialogue. FR left behind more than a collection of articles and monographs; he left, along with his diaries, a vast correspondence of letters, many of which are themselves theological and philosophical treatises. Though he lived the last eight years of his life in almost total paralysis, FR is one of the most innovative thinkers of his time. In the thought of FR, personal existence plays a central role. Therefore, one must read the contents of FR's literary works in conjunction with the events of his biography. FR's biography can be divided into three parts, his early years from his birth until his near conversion and return to Judaism in 1913, his middle years of rediscovery from his days as a soldier on the Macedonian front until his move to Frankfurt-on-the-Main, and his final years of illness from his first diagnosis in 1922 until his death in 1929.
I. EarlyYears (Dec. 1886-Oct. 1913)
FR's family was typical of those Jewish families that accepted Western European culture after the emancipation. Louis Rosenzweig, FR's grandfather, was a chemist and the son-in-law of Samuel Meir Ehrenberg, the director of the Jewish free school in Wolfenbuettel (Brunswick), and the teacher of Isaac Marcus Jost (1793-1860) and Leopold Zunz (1794-1886). FR's father ,Georg Rosenzweig , was a manufacturer of dyes and a well-respected community leader. His mother, Adele Rosenzweig was a well-cultured and learned person. It was Adele Rosenzweig who later took interest in FR's spiritual and intellectual pursuits.
For most Western European Jews emancipation meant the end of isolation and the acceptance of European culture. Rituals of the synagogue, once a means of separation, were now open to European culture. Jewish synagogue worship often resembled worship services of the Protestant Church. Many Jews were convinced that the messianic expectations of the biblical prophets were fulfilled in Western European humanism. A few, mostly younger zealots, turned to Zionism as an alternative to assimilation. The intellectual context of 19th and early 20th century Western Europe was characterized by faith in progress and the development of science. This sense of optimism was felt in the universities as well as in other institutions of learning. However, faith in progress and the future became faith in a world represented by Protestant Christianity. Consequently, many perceived traditional Judaism of the home and synagogue as a mere relic of the past. One response to this type of assimilation is what came to be known as Wissenschaft des Judentums (the scientific investigation of Judaism). Through critical methods of investigation, Jewish scholars worked to rediscover the origin and development of Jewish traditions. However, this approach tended to assume that Jewish traditions were no longer in a state of development. Though emancipation opened up a whole new world to Western European Jews, possibilities were still limited. If one wanted to be commissioned in the army or be a professor at one of the universities, one had to be baptized into the Church. For many Jews, including some of FR's closest friends, baptism became the ticket to success in the world of Protestantism.
FR's family was very much a part of Western European culture. Among those who visited the Rosenzweig home were dignitaries and community leaders. Though state affairs were a part of family life, the Rosenzweigs did not go so far as to accept Protestant Christianity. Religious observance in the Rosenzweig home was rather superficial and was limited to no more than Bar Mitzvah and the High Holy days. FR did not learn about Sabbath observances until he was a student at the university.
On the 25th of December, 1886, FR was born in the town of Kassel. In FR's early life there was one individual who was especially influential on young FR and that was his great uncle, Adam Rosenzweig (1826-1908), who was living in the Rosenzweig home at that time. It was through him that FR began to recognize his identity as a Jew. FR's schoolmate and life long friend, Joseph Prager, relates that when FR was going off to school at the age of six, his uncle, Adam Rosenzweig, took him aside and told him emphatically, "My boy, you are going among people for the first time today; remember as long as you live that you are a Jew."(N.N. Glatzer, Life and Thought, xxxvii)
FR entered the Friedrichs-Gymnasium in 1896 at the age of ten. There he studied the intellectual giants of Western European culture, Goethe, Feuerbach, Duerer, etc. He also became interested in art and took up playing the violin. FR spent a great deal of time reading the family Bible which was a Zunz German translation. One day FR came home with good marks in school. His father asked him if he had one wish what would it be and he responded that he wished he had someone who could really teach him Hebrew.
Having completed Gymnasium, FR had a difficult time deciding what to study at the university. Finally he settled on medicine and began his studies at the University of Goettingen. After one semester FR transferred to Munich where he stayed for three semesters. It is not unusual, even today, for German students to change universities several times during their course of study. While at Munich a Jewish fraternity tried to pledge FR. However, FR was not impressed because he was convinced that the members lacked Jewish spirit and seemed no different from other German students. Also, it was during this time that FR began to keep a diary. Because of its black cover, he referred to his diary as "the little black book." After his fourth semester, FR transferred to the university of Freiburg.
During his study at Freiburg (1906-1907) FR became dissatisfied with medical studies and his interests began to shift. FR's first exposure to the academic study of philosophy came about when FR attended an intermediate level course. The following semester he participated in a seminar on the philosophy of Emmanuel Kant conducted by Professor Jonas Cohn. Professor Cohn was quite surprised to see FR in his seminar. After all, FR did not have much prior exposure to the academic study of philosophy. Therefore, professor Cohn gave FR the option of discontinuing should the seminar become too difficult. Although his interests now lay primarily in the areas of history and philosophy, FR did complete his preliminary medical examination in 1907. Perhaps this was more to satisfy the wishes of his father. His father, at any rate, did not look positively at FR's growing interest in history and philosophy. Following his medical examinations, FR returned to Freiburg to study history mostly under the renowned historian Frederich Meinecke. It was during this time that FR first became interested in the philosophy of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831).
In 1909 FR's close friend and cousin Hans Ehrenberg converted to Christianity and was baptized into the church. Though FR's family was not much interested in religious matters, they were opposed to Hans Ehrenberg's decision to be baptized. They believed that it would have been better if he would first have consulted a Jewish theologian. Perhaps FR's conversations with his friend Hans Ehrenberg about matters of Judaism and Christianity led him to first consider the problem of Jewish public education. Early the following year (1910) FR, along with Hans and Rudolf Ehrenberg traveled to Baden-Baden to attend a convention for young philosophers and historians. It was here that FR first met Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy and a life long friendship began.
When FR returned to Freiburg he continued his research into Hegel's political doctrines. For a short time FR interrupted his work in order to write a book on individuality in German thought since Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781). The book, which was to be titled "The Hero" was never completed. In 1912 FR completed his dissertation entitled Hegel and the State (Hegel und der Staat). The dissertation was published in 1920 and is still considered a significant work.
In 1913 FR went to Leipzig to study with his friend Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy whom he had met earlier in Baden-Baden. Rosenstock-Huessy, who was one of the youngest faculty members at the University of Leipzig, was lecturing on medieval constitutional law. The two spent much of their free time discussing issues related to philosophy and religion. In opposition to philosophical thinking of the day, they both agreed that philosophy was bankrupt when it came to the needs of the individual. As a convert from Judaism, Rosenstock-Huessy was convinced that the spiritual needs of the modern day individual were fulfilled in Christianity.
II. Near Conversion and Rediscovery of Jewish Existence
FR's early years before his near conversion were lived as an assimilationist Jew and as a product of 19th century Western European culture. FR and his friends, however, had a common dissatisfaction with Idealist philosophy, especially that of Hegel which emphasized the historical process as that through which God is revealed. This sort of thinking left little room for the redemption of the individual through religious practices. German Idealism was a frequent topic of discussion as FR and his friends passed the evening hours.
One summer night in 1913 FR, Rosenstock-Huessy, and Rudolf Ehrenberg were in the midst of a heated debate on the relationship between science and religion. They had just read a novel by the Swedish author Selma Lagerloef, The Miracle of the Antichrist. While FR took the position of philosophical relativism, Rosenstock-Huessy insisted that prayer and worship are the guides to human actions. For Rosenstock-Huessy Judaism was no more than a mere relic of the past incapable of meeting the spiritual needs of contemporary believers. Through conversations with his friends, especially Rosenstock- Huessy, FR became convinced that he could not counter the Christian belief system with Judaism. Therefore, he had no other choice but to follow his friends and be baptized into the Christian church. When FR met Rosenstock-Huessy later that summer just before Rosenstock-Huessy was about to begin military service, FR said nothing about his decision to convert to Christianity.
For Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) FR went home to Kassel. The Rosenzweigs had since moved to their new home (Terasse 1 ). One day FR came downstairs from his study with the New Testament in his hand and he said, "Mother, here is everything, here is the truth. There is only one way, Jesus." (N.N. Glatzer Life and Thought, p. 25) FR considered it important that he attend High Holy day observances in preparation for entry into the church. Though FR was resolved to convert to Christianity, he had one provision; he would enter Christianity through Judaism. Like the earliest Christians, he would only enter as a Jew and not as a pagan. In further preparation for the church, FR, upon his return to Berlin, attended Yom Kippur services at an orthodox synagogue. Though FR stood in prayer as part of the congregation, he stood as an individual before God. Previously FR was led to believe that only the church provides an orientation to the outside world. Suddenly, FR realized that the faith which, for him, provided orientation to the outside world was found in the synagogue. Having discovered that Judaism was not a dead relic of the past but a living faith, FR reversed his decision to become a Christian. The course of events surrounding his return to Judaism he kept as somewhat of a secret. It was only much later that FR's mother related the events to Nahum N. Glatzer. Early the following year FR announced his decision to Rudolf Ehrenberg who was serving in the military.
Later discussions with Rosenstock-Huessy revolved around the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. While Rosenstock-Huessy believed that no one can reach the Father except through Jesus, FR now realized that in Judaism one does not have to reach the Father because he is already present. The Jew stands before God in an unmediated relationship. The liturgical year as fixed in the Jewish calendar, especially the Yom Kippur liturgy, later become a key for interpreting Judaism in The Star of Redemption .
After his near conversion to Christianity and return to Judaism, FR remained in Berlin to study the sources of Judaism. FR became a student of Herman Cohen who had recently left his position at the University of Marburg to teach Jewish philosophy at the Institute for the Scientific Study of Judaism (Lehranstalt fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums) in Berlin. Here FR furthered his knowledge of Hebrew, Arabic, and the Talmud. In 1914 FR met Martin Buber for the first time in Berlin. M. Buber, however, was quite critical of Herman Cohen and did not see FR's work with him as a worthwhile endeavor. M. Buber was, however, very impressed with FR's work and he invited him to contribute an article to the second volume of a two volume work, On Judaism (Vom Judentum). Unfortunately, this volume never appeared. FR submitted an article called "Atheistic Theology ."
At the outbreak of the First World War (1914), FR entered the Red Cross in Berlin. The following year he was transferred to Belgium where he served as a male nurse. That same year FR gave up his service as a nurse and enlisted into the regular army. He was then sent back to Kassel to receive training in field artillery. At the same time he continued on improvements to his dissertation, "Hegel and the State." In 1916 FR was sent to ballistics school in France and was subsequently transferred to the Macedonian front. Because there was so little activity in Macedonia, FR had much time to think and to write. FR was attached to an anti-aircraft gun unit, but because there were hardly ever any enemy planes FR did not have much to do. At this time FR began to consider the general state of Jewish religious education in Germany. In his first essay on Jewish learning, "Peoples Schools and State School"(Volksschule und Reichsschule), which he wrote on discarded scrap paper and army letters , FR drew up a model for central European education in general. In the following year (1917) FR began to write a short treatise on religious education entitled, "It is Time ..." (Zeit ists...), on army letters which he sent to his mother.
When FR completed "It is Time..." he sent a copy to Herman Cohen along with an accompanying letter. In the letter FR made it clear that the treatise is a call to action. Hermann Cohen accepted FR's plan with enthusiasm. With the support of community leaders and experts in Jewish learning, the "Academy for the Scientific Study of Judaism" (Die Akademie fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums) was founded in Berlin. Though the academy was quite successful, it was not quite what FR had intended. The emphasis was on scholarly research and not on Jewish learning as FR understood it.
Later that same year (1918) FR took a furlough and went off to Ueshueck (Yugoslavia). For the first time he came into contact with Sephardic Judaism and its simplicity of life and worship. His visit to Ueshueck also exposed him to Islam and Islamic learning. He returned there again for high Holy day services. Later that year he clarified his thoughts on revelation in a letter to Rudolf Ehrenberg which he referred to as the "Germ Cell to the Star of Redemption"(Urzelle der Stern der Erloesung) His next furlough he spent in Berlin. While in Berlin he visited Hermann Cohen and discussed plans for the foundation of The Academy for the Scientific Study of Judaism according to the program drawn up in "It is Time..." On April 18, 1918, shortly after FR's visit to Berlin, Hermann Cohen passed away.
That same year FR was sent to officer training in Rembertow near Warsaw, Poland, which was under German occupancy at that time. In Poland FR met many Polish Jews and, for the first time, was exposed to Hasidism. Furthermore, he saw that it was possible to combine Jewish learning and Jewish life. Upon his return to the Macedonian front as a non-commissioned officer (Unteroffizier), FR contracted influenza and pneumonia and was sent to a military hospital in Leipzig, Germany. When he recovered from his illness he returned to the front.
On the Macedonian front FR began to develop the "germ cell" into a book which he claimed could never be published. To avoid possible death before putting The Star of Redemption into writing, he began to sketch out the work on army postcards which he sent to his mother and his friends who copied them. FR's fellow soldiers on the front often commented on the volume of mail FR sent out and received. Later on FR came down with malaria and was brought to an army hospital in Belgrade. Not long afterward, the Macedonian front broke down and the troops retreated to Freiburg. In December of 1919 FR was released from service and returned to Kassel. There he continued to work on The Star of Redemption until it was completed the following year. FR's Christian friends urged him to publish The Star of Redemption as a Christian book with a Christian publisher, but FR did not heed to their advice.
Upon his return to Kassel, FR delivered a number of lectures before members of the Jewish community. His lecture topics included "Jewish History in the Framework of World History," "Knowledge and Faith," and the "Essence of Judaism." One lecture series was devoted to Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Nathan the Wise. These lectures would conclude with readings from part three of The Star of Redemption.
In 1919 FR's life long friend, Joseph Prager, introduced FR to the leading rabbi of Frankfurt-on-the-Main, Dr. Nehemiah A. Nobel, with a letter of introduction. Nehemiah Nobel then invited FR to come to Frankfurt-on-the-Main for Passover. FR listened to Nobel's sermons and was taken by them. Though his ideas were indeed significant, FR was especially impressed by the earnestness and piety of Nobel the person. FR and Nobel continued to work together for the next three years.
By this time (1919) FR's thoughts were focused on establishing an academy for Jewish learning that would put into practice what he had actually intended in "It is Time..." Many institutions of adult learning "Volksbildungsheime" were already in existence throughout Germany. Later that year (1919) FR returned to Frankfurt-on-the-Main to consult with Dr. Eduard Strauss, a chemist who was also interested in Jewish learning. E. Strauss and Nobel were part of a group of intellectuals who were planning to establish an academy for Jewish learning in Frankfurt-on-the-Main.
In the Summer of 1920 Nobel invited FR to move to Frankfurt-on-the-Main and take over leadership of "The Free House of Jewish Learning " (Das Freie Juedische Lehrhaus) which had recently been established. When FR took over leadership of the Lehrhaus, it had already been in operation for two trimesters. The committee gave FR the freedom to reorganize the Lehrhaus according to his own wishes. FR presented his plan for the Lehrhaus in a letter to Eduard Strauss "The Renaissance of Jewish Learning " (Bildung und kein Ende).
Friedrich Meinecke, now teaching at the University of Berlin, offered FR a position on the faculty. At that time it was unusual for a Jew to hold a faculty position at a university. FR, however, did not accept the offer because he turned away from the purely academic environment of the university and sought a more appropriate setting for Jewish learning. Friedrich Meinecke did not understand the decision and attributed it to battle fatigue.
Earlier that year (1920), FR became engaged to Edith Hahn whom he had met six years earlier in Berlin. They were married on the 20th of March. On their honeymoon FR translated " Grace After Meals " (Tischdank ) from Hebrew. From this point on, FR began to develop his interest in theories of translation. Because of a housing shortage, it was difficult for FR and his new wife, Edith, to find a place to live in Frankfurt-on-the-Main. Eventually they moved into the attic of a house in the city (Schumannstrasse 10). This would remain FR's place of residence for the rest of his life.
On August 20, 1920 FR gave the opening address for the second year of the Lehrhaus on the tasks and goals of the Lehrhaus. The "Free House of Jewish Learning" (Das freie Juedische Lehrhaus) was "free" because it required no entrance examinations, offered no degrees, and encouraged free inquiry. It was called a "house" because it was modeled after the traditional Jewish house of study (Beth ha Midrash). There was no specific location for the Lehrhaus. Lectures and seminar-groups were conducted in rented halls and private homes. The tuition rate was quite high, but there was a significant discount for students, young people who were active in Jewish youth organizations, physically challenged persons, and those who were somehow unable to pay.
FR invited people from a variety of disciplines to be instructors at the Lehrhaus. The instructors were not necessarily experts in their subjects, but, more importantly, were devoted to the active pursuit of Jewish learning. These were people who were also trying to find their way back to Judaism in a world of Western European culture. The Lehrhaus was, therefore, more interdisciplinary than traditional academies of learning. Furthermore, FR selected persons who represented different ideologies within Western European Judaism. This way he hoped to bring together Jewish people, whether liberal or Zionist, in a common pursuit of learning.
The Lehrhaus was divided into lectures, which would examine more general areas, and seminar-groups which would often discuss a more specific aspect of a given lecture series. The "core" of the program was the learning of Hebrew. FR, himself, taught the Hebrew language classes while he was still able. When he was no longer able, his wife, Edith, took over this responsibility. The lectures were primarily a means of drawing the public into the seminar-groups, especially the Hebrew language classes. In order to attract more people to the Lehrhaus, FR tried to win Martin Buber, whose writings were highly regarded by both Jews and Christians. At the time Buber was living in Heppenheim, not far from Frankfurt-on-the-Main. Because Buber was more interested in dialogical learning, he resisted the idea of lecturing to a large audience. He did, however, welcome the opportunity to discuss Hasidic texts in the seminar groups.
During FR's second trimester at the Lehrhaus (Jan. -- March, 1921) he gave a series of lectures on philosophy. The lectures covered issues related to logic, politics, ethics, and metaphysics. Along with the lectures, FR conducted a seminar-group on German Idealist Philosophy from Kant to Hegel. When The Star of Redemption was published in 1921, it was difficult for many readers to understand. Therefore, the publisher asked FR to present his philosophy in a more popular form. Out of his lectures and seminar-group, FR put together a short book, "The Little Book of Common Sense and Sick Reason"(Das Buechlein vom gesunden und kranken Menschenverstand). However, FR resisted the idea of publishing a book "on demand" and withdrew the manuscript two months after its completion. Fortunately he sent several copies to his friends. The book, which was FR's last work as a healthy person, was published much later in English by Nahum N. Glatzer (Understanding the Sick and the Healthy: A View of World, Man, and God, 1953 ). Several months after its completion, FR noticed irregularities in his muscular movements.
III. The Final Years
By the early months of 1922 FR was beginning to sense something unusual in his muscular movements. He consulted a specialist who told him that his condition was quite serious. In February of that year FR visited his friend a physician, Dr. Richard Koch. He asked Koch to examine him and give him a second opinion. Perhaps he had something less serious that would go away soon. FR said that, on several occasions, he ended up on the pavement after getting off of the street car, he had difficulty walking up and down the stairs, had problems pronouncing certain sounds, and had trouble swallowing. R. Koch examined FR carefully and wrote down his findings. He diagnosed FR as having Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with progressive paralysis of the bulba. Upon the advice of Koch, FR stayed in bed for the next four weeks. His Lehrhaus lectures were moved to a large room which his landlord provided, and his seminar-group met in his study.
During the Summer of 1922, FR and Edith went on vacation to Koenigsstein in the Taunus. FR was working on a second edition of The Star of Redemption. When FR returned home from vacation, he would never leave his apartment again. FR's condition continued to deteriorate; he now could write only with great difficulty, had trouble speaking, and would choke on his food. Because of his worsening condition, FR felt that he had to choose someone who would succeed him as leader of the Lehrhaus. FR was convinced that the best man for the job was Rudolf Hallo. In order to acquaint Hallo with the Lehrhaus, FR wrote him an extensive letter explaining the origins and principles of the Lehrhaus. R. Hallo remained leader of the Lehrhaus until he resigned in 1923. The Lehrhhaus was then led by Buber, Koch, and FR himself.
In the Fall of 1922 a son was born to FR and Edith; they named him Rafael. The circumcision took place at FR's apartment in accordance with the Jewish tradition. At that time FR was working on Sixty Hymns and Poems of Judah ha-Levi, in German (Sechzig Hymnen und Gedichte des Judah Ha-Levi. Deutsch. Mit einem Nachwort und mit Anmerkungen), a selection of hymns and poems from the medieval poet translated into German. In contrast to many translations of the time which rendered the original Hebrew into German poetics (Eindeutchung), FR sought to preserve the literary characteristics of the Hebrew in German (Verdeutchung). This selection of hymns and poems included notes and an epilogue on the art of translation. In 1927, FR prepared a second expanded edition which included ninety two hymns and poems.
By the end of 1922 FR could no longer write at all. He could only speak to those close to him who were able to understand him. FR dictated many letters and other writings to Edith. Surprisingly, this was a time of great literary activity for FR. He often sought library assistance from friends. Sometimes he would ask a friend to look something up in a commentary or to bring a certain journal article . As FR's condition worsened and oral dictation was no longer possible, a special typewriter was brought in to assist FR in his work. With thistypewriter , FR continued to write letters and short articles. On the Sabbath the typewriter was removed. Before he passed away, N. Nobel had planned to confer on FR the rabbinical title morenu (our teacher). In May of 1923 Leo Baeck of Berlin carried out this plan.
Normal activities were a major task for FR and those around him. FR was taken out of bed and washed every morning. It took between two and three hours for the nurse to prepare him for the day. There were two nurses, one for daytime and one for nighttime. It took FR an hour to eat breakfast before he would begin his work. The nurse would assist him by turning the page when he gave the signal by either turning his head or clearing his throat. FR would read well past midnight. The night nurse had to assist him in his sleep by turning him over five or six times during the night. For relaxation FR listened either to the phonograph or to the radio. FR acquired many phonograph records by writing reviews of recorded music in the paper.
The role of FR's wife, Edith, cannot be overstated. When FR wrote on his typewriter, Edith would make corrections and fill in missing characters. Because FR could not leave the apartment, he would receive many guests. On the Sabbath and on Festival days, private services were conducted at FR's apartment. Edith would manage conversations between FR and his friends. Since Edith could understand what FR was trying to say she would mediate the words to FR's friends. Close to the end of his life, FR was only able to move his eyes. Edith would go through the alphabet and FR would blink at the desired character. After the first few characters Edith would be able to guess the word. Through this slow process FR and Edith together constructed sentences and paragraphs.
In 1925 the publisher Lambert Schneider asked M. Buber to begin work on a new translation of the Hebrew Bible. M. Buber agreed to undertake the project on condition that it be done in collaboration with FR. Believing that his death was not yet imminent, FR agreed to the project. Buber would translate texts and send sheets to FR who would express reservations and make corrections. So that FR would not have to consult many books, Buber would also send relevant literature to accompany difficult passages. Discussion of one verse could take up weeks of correspondence . Once a week Buber and FR met to discuss the project. Before FR's death, Buber and FR were able to finalize volumes I through X (Genesis - Isaiah). Volumes XI - XV (Jeremiah - Proverbs) Buber translated on his own. This translation of the Hebrew Bible,"The Scriptures, German " (Die Schrift: Zu Verdeutchen unternomen von Martin Buber gemeinsam mit Franz Rosenzweig) is one of the most significant Bible translations of modern times. Along with "The Scriptures, German" Buber and FR published a collection of essays related to theories of translation and biblical interpretation, Scripture and Translation (Die Schrift und ihre Verdeutschung ).
Early in December of 1929 FR began to suffer from a severe cold. His temperature rose to one hundred and two degrees. The next day he had a terrible cough and refused to take any medication out of fear that it might affect his heart and breathing. That day Dr. R. Koch was ill, so he turned the case over to Dr. Tuteur. FR's condition continued to deteriorate. He could hardly breath and his face was pale. The nurse worked to make FR comfortable while Edith tried to guess his wishes. The doctor concluded that FR had broncho-pneumonia in one of his lungs. That evening FR pointed to the letter plate on his typewriter and spelled out " ...and now it comes, the point of all points, which the Lord has revealed to me in my sleep: the point of all points for which there..."( N.N. Glatzer, Life and Thought, 174) His writing was interrupted by the entrance of the doctor. FR died that night (Dec. 9) at 2 a.m. In accordance with Jewish tradition, the body was placed on the floor with a candle next to it and was covered with a linen cloth. FR requested that he be buried in Frankfurt-on-the-Main. On December 12 FR was buried in a cemetery of the Frankfurt Jewish community where his grave can still be seen. According to Jewish tradition, a Jewish male is buried in his tallit (prayer shawl) with the corners cut off. Instead of a funeral oration, Buber read from Psalm 73.