The Search for Sigmund Freud’s Hidden Jewishness

Almost from the moment Sigmund Freud rose to fame in Europe, he encountered fellow Jews who were curious about the extent and nature of his Jewish upbringing, education, and commitments, and whether Jewish religious text shaped his ideas about psychoanalysis. Since his death, numerous books have been written trying to answer these questions. Naomi Seidman—who herself believes that such concepts as sublimation have clear talmudic antecedents—poses a slightly different question: why do Jews care so much about whether Freud’s ideas had a Jewish genealogy? In her forthcoming book, she finds a partial answer to this question in the first Hebrew and Yiddish translations of Freud’s work, which mined traditional religious vocabulary to find equivalents for such terms as id and psyche. She discusses her research with J.J. Kimche. (Audio, 72 minutes.)

Read more at Podcast of Jewish Ideas

More about: Hebrew, Judaism, Sigmund Freud, Translation, Yiddish

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy