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Many have pondered the peculiar form of messianism characteristic of early 20th century German Jewish thought, but Sharvit’s elegant hypothesis is a winner. According to Sharvit, the messianic drive of Rosenzweig, Kafka, Benjamin, and Freud is neither the Hegelian progressive thrust, which strives towards the completion of history, nor the apocalyptic death-wish, which hopes for the abrupt end of the world: it is based on a dynamic repetition, conceived not as a compulsion to repeat and stabilize, but rather as an impulse to reach forward into the future and innovate. Pace the popular opinion which perceives Weimar Jewish messianism as radical and uncompromising, Sharvit proposes a more moderate view which may be summed up by the talmudic equivalent of Søren Kierkegaard, Rabbi Tarphon: “You are not required to complete the work, but neither you are free to desist from it.”