Edmond Flegenheimer better known as Edmond Fleg, (26 November 1874 – 15 October 1963) was a Jewish French writer, thinker, novelist, essayist and playwright of the 20th century. Fleg’s oeuvre was crucial in constructing a modern French Jewish identity, rendering him an instrumental figure in the Jewish awakening during the interwar years. After World War I, Jewish writers began articulating a new, cultural definition of what it meant to be a Jew within the context of French Third Republic universalism.
Through his writings — based on Jewish and Christian texts -- Fleg formed the foundation of a modern French Jewish spirituality and self-understanding, which allowed secular French Jews to preserve their Jewish identity. In doing so, Fleg was calling for an exploration of the living texts of traditional Judaism as the basis for a modern Jewish identity, establishing a new literary direction devoted to re-interpreting biblical texts and legends, and liturgies.
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I am a Jew because, born of Israel and having lost her, I have felt her live again in me, more living than myself.
I am a Jew because, born of Israel and having regained her, I wish her to live after me, more living than myself.
I am a Jew because the faith of Israel demands of me no abdication of the mind.
I am a Jew because the faith of Israel requires of me all the devotion of my heart.
I am a Jew because in every place where suffering weeps, the Jew weeps.
I am a Jew because every time when despair cries out, the Jew hopes.
I am a Jew because the word of Israel is the oldest and newest
I am a Jew because Israel’s promise is a universal promise.
I am a Jew because, for Israel, the world is not yet completed: men are completing it.
I am a Jew because, above nations and Israel, Israel places Man and his unity.
I am a Jew because, above Man, the image of the divine Unity, Israel places the divine Unity and its divinity.