Though well known to many scholars and critics in the field of Judaic studies, Hayim Greenberg remains relatively unknown. Since his death in 1953, Greenberg’s contributions to modern Jewish thought have largely fallen from view. In The Essential Hayim Greenberg: Essays and Addresses on Jewish Culture, Socialism, and Zionism, the first collection of Greenberg’s writings since 1968, Mark A. Raider reestablishes Greenberg as a prominent Jewish thinker and Zionist activist who challenged the prevailing orthodoxies of American Jewry and the Zionist movement.
This collection of thoroughly annotated essays, spanning the 1920s to the early 1950s, includes Greenberg’s meditations on socialism and ethics, profiles of polarizing twentieth-century figures (among them Trotsky, Lenin, and Gandhi), and several essays investigating the compatibility of socialism and communism. Greenberg always circles back, however, to the recurring question of how Jews might situate themselves in modernity, both before and after the Holocaust, and how Labor Zionist ideology might reshape the imbalances of Jewish economic life.
Alongside his role as an American Zionist leader, Greenberg maintained a lifelong commitment to the vitality of the Jewish diaspora. Rather than promoting Jewish autonomy and statehood, he argued for fidelity to the Jewish spirit. This volume not only seeks to restore Greenberg to his previous stature in the field of Judaic studies but also to return a vital and authentic voice, long quieted, to the continuing debate over what it means to be Jewish.
The Essential Hayim Greenberg provides an accessible text for scholars, historians, and students of Jewish studies, religion, and theology.