Sunday, December 11, 2011

I Will Not Cease From Mental Fight: Building a New Jerusalem in London

Speaking to his disciples two days after Nazi storm troopers marched into Vienna in 1938, Sigmund Freud drew a parallel. ''After the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by Titus,'' he said, ''Rabbi Jochanan ben Sakkai asked for permission to open a school at Jabneh for the study of Torah. We are going to do the same.''

Freud's Jabneh turned out to be the leafy North London neighborhood called Hampstead where scarcely six months later, by special grace of a British Government not normally so welcoming to refugees, the father of psychoanalysis was installed at the age of 82 with his family, his most treasured books, his well-known couch and his collection of Egyptian and classical antiquities in a spacious house on a street called Maresfield Gardens.

There he resided, seeing patients and receiving followers, for one year minus exactly four days until Sept. 23, 1939, when the cancer that had been eating away at his jaw finally ended his life.

No comments: