Cioran, Metaphysical Jew

From the Forward:

In 1965 Cioran wrote “I am metaphysically Jewish,” which he followed in 1969 with: “The only people I relate to deeply are Jews. We share the same imperfections.” His further metaphysical reflection in 1970, “The refusal of Christianity by the Jews can only be termed brilliant,” is topped by the following mordant ethical critique of European character: “The only good folks in Germany were Jews. Now that they are dead, all that remains is a kind of monstrous Belgium.”

“Metaphysical Judaism” is a nebulous category of being, overlapping with but not synonymous with “physical Judaism.” If we ascribe to the Kabbalistic notion of gilgul, we could say Cioran was a Jew in a previous life. We could also say all “metaphysical Jews” were Jews in a previous life, and “physical Jews” should proselytize them.

Source:State of exile – Notes from a Wandering Jew

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