Losing the Temple and Recovering the Future: An Analysis of by Hindy Najman

By Hindy Najman

This e-book explores the Jewish community's reaction to the destruction of the second one Temple in 70 CE. the point of interest of realization is four Ezra, a textual content that reboots the earlier by means of imaginatively recasting textual and interpretive traditions. rather than rebuilding the Temple, as Ezra does within the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, the Ezra portrayed in four Ezra argues with an angel in regards to the secret of God's plan and re-gives Israel the Torah. Drawing on Walter Benjamin, the ingenious undertaking of four Ezra is analyzed by way of a constellation composed of components from pre-destruction traditions. Ezra's fight and his eventual recommitment to Torah also are understood as delivering a version for emulation by means of historic Jewish readers. four Ezra is therefore what Stanley Cavell calls a perfectionist paintings. Its particular challenge is to steer the formation of Jewish topics able to resuming covenantal lifestyles within the wake of a destruction that inflects yet by no means erases revelation.

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Reboot If 4 Ezra was written after the destruction of the Second Temple, why does it portray its protagonist as coping with the destruction of the First? At the time, the destruction of the First Temple was surely traumatic. Israel’s covenantal relationship with God was centered on the Jerusalem Temple in which God was present. How could God allow another people to destroy the Temple? Was the covenant still in effect? As we have seen, the reconstruction of the Second Temple never succeeded in entirely undoing the pain of losing the First.

44 Benjamin, Arcades, “Konvolut N,” 475. ” Reboot 23 a significant step toward explaining – the standstill of our own thought. In the case with which I am concerned, the constellation represents the trauma of destruction and exile and the attempt to work through this trauma. Conversely, to see how the 4 Ezra constellation enables something to happen again is to allow our own thought to go on (until it is captivated by another object of interest). In the case of 4 Ezra, the constellation expresses the idea of revelation inflected by destruction.

In Chapter 3, I study scripture as it is remembered in 4 Ezra. On the one hand, 4 Ezra is saturated with images and themes drawn from various scriptural texts, some that are later included in various Jewish and Christian bibles, and some excluded. On the other hand, 4 Ezra portrays its protagonist as living in a time when, along with the Temple, scripture has been destroyed and stands in need of rewriting, which does happen at the end of the book. This need not be understood in a literal sense.

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