, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 1-2
Date: 17 Mar 2011

Editor’s Introduction

This is an excerpt from the content

This issue of Contemporary Jewry offers a veritable feast of fascinating articles. We begin with the extraordinary account by Maya Balakirsky Katz, “A Rabbi, A Priest and A Psychoanalyst,” that explores the psychoanalysis of Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Schneersohn, the Fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, by Wilhelm Stekel, under the guidance of Sigmund Freud. While this material has been dealt with elsewhere, this new article provides an important understanding of how and why, in his reporting on the case of the rabbi, Stekel, a Jew with largely hidden roots in the observant community, might well have felt a need to create the case of the priest into which he placed the most scandalous aspects of the rabbi’s condition in order, as Katz argues, to “deflect criticism that the real cause of the rabbi’s dysfunction related to the rabbi’s ethnicity and cultural milieu.” This is a paper that offers us a view of the often unspoken but keenly felt issues that infected early psychoanalysis and its practitioners, ...