Kotzker Advice

By John Hertz:  A hundred years ago Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morgensztern of Kotzk (Polish spelling Kock), known for short as the Kotzker Rabbi (or “rebbe”) or just the Kotzker, said “If I am I because I am I, and you are you because you are you, then I am I and you are you.  But if I am I because you are you, and you are you because I am I, then I am not I and you are not you.”

Submitted for your consideration.

20 thoughts on “Kotzker Advice

  1. It can be disturbing when we find our ancestors had recreational sex, got drunk, and did drugs.

  2. Who’s on first?

    An interesting way of expressing how prejudice removes us from our authentic self.

  3. I am confused by the lack of fighting about the Hugos on this thread

  4. An interesting mediation on defining one’s self oppositionally?

    Relevant to anything going on in Sci-Fi Land currently?

  5. Philosophy makes me want to drink. I’m off to collect a six pack of the good stuff (from a brewer TBD).

  6. To paraphrase Mal Reynolds, “Is it bad that what he said made perfect sense to me?”

  7. That that is is that that is not is not is not that that is not that that is not. Punctuate that sentence so that it makes sense.,

    (One way of doing so is “That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is not ‘that that is’ not ‘that that is not’?”)

    There’s also the comment on a manuscript: “Where John had had had had had had had had had been correct.” That is, “Where John had had ‘had had “had had”‘, ‘had “had had”‘ had been correct.”

  8. I’m delighted to see Sam Long quoting Moxton (from The Whole Art of Printing — the “Pointing” section. — in the 17th century sense of “pointing” = “punctuation” … and the feeling back then that this was a function of printers, rather than authors.

    And I’m also delighted that John turns the Kotzker Rebbe into a Zen Master. Which, IMHO, is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

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