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André Neher

André Neher (1914-1988) was a Jewish scholar and philosopher, born 12, rue du Marche, in Obernai. He was a student at the College Freppel in Obernai, then at the Lycee Fustel de Coulange in Strasbourg. He became professor at the College Erckmann-Chatrian in Sarrebourg, then at the Lycee Kleber in Strasbourg. During WII, he lived in Brive-la-Gaillarde. After the War, he became a professor at the Universite de Strasbourg, before moving with his wife, Renee Neher-Bernheim, to Jerusalem, Israel.

L'exil de la Parole

His masterpiece is The exile of the Word (L'Exil de la parole. Du silence biblique au silence d'Auschwitz, Ed.: Seuil, 1970), about the biblical silence, and God’s silence after the Shoah and the great world tragedies. Neher thinks that through the biblical silence you can find the divine revelation: through the silence it’s possible the human freedom. His idea of suspension bridge indicates the human “ontological insecurity and pain” caused by this freedom, that’s a “radical factor of uncertainty”: for this reason we’re obliged to concentrate our attention not on the ideas of redemption or salvation, but on “to be here in our life”.


  • Transcendance et immanence (1946; Transcendence and immanence)
  • Amos, contribution à l'étude du prophétism (1950; Amos, contribution to the study of the prophecy)
  • L'Essence du Prophétisme (1955; Quality of Prophecy)
  • Notes sur Qohélét (1951; Notes on Ecclesiastes)
  • Moïse et la vocation juive (1956; Moses and the Jewish vocation)
  • Le conflit du sacré et du profane dans la renaissance de l'Hébreu (1958; The conflict of sacred and profane in the renaissance of Hebrew)
  • Jérémie (1960; Jeremiah)
  • Histoire biblique du peuple d'Israël (1962; Biblical history of the people of Israel) — with Renée Neher
  • L'Existence Juive (1962; The Jewish Existence)
  • Le Puits de L'Exil, la théologie dialectique du Maharal de Prague (1962; The Well of the Exile, dialectical theology of Maharal of Prague)
  • De l'hébreu au français : manuel de l'hébraïsant: la traduction (1969; From Hebrew to French) — a manual for translating the Hebrew language into French
  • L'exil de la Parole. Du silence biblique au silence d'Auschwitz (1970; The exile of the Word, from the silence of the Bible to the silence of Auschwitz)
  • Dans tes portes, Jérusalem (1972; Within your gates, Jerusalem)
  • Ils ont refait leur ame (1979; They rebuilt their soul) ISBN 2-234-01192-2
  • Jerusalem, Vecu Juif Et Message(1984; Jerusalem, Lived Jerusalem And Message) ISBN 2-268-00287-X
  • David Gans, 1541-1613 : disciple du Maharal, assistant de Tycho Brahe et de Jean Kepler (1974; David Gans, 1541-1613 : disciple of Maharal, assistant of Tycho Brahe and of Johannes Kepler); English translation as Jewish thought and the scientific revolution of the sixteenth century : David Gans (1541-1613) and his times (1986) OUP.
  • Faust et le Maharal de Prague : le mythe et le réel (1987; Faust and Maharal of Prague : myth and reality)

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