Fredric Jameson, 24 March 2022
We have been approaching the figure of Jacob in a spirit of reverence, with hushed voices, as in church, as though he had a religious task or mission. What we have failed to understand is that the Messiah is come, not to fulfil the Law but to destroy it! Not to perfect it but rather to abolish it altogether. We have been trying to imagine the wrong kind of world: this is not the utopian world of Thomas More (or even that of Moliwda); it is the world of Sabbatai Sevi’s blasphemies and orgies, his vilification and repudiation of the Talmud, his public consumption of pork, his disregard – indeed, cancellation – of the most sacred Jewish holidays, his pronunciation out loud of the sacred name of God on all occasions. This is the very quintessence of transgression, the promotion of a Bataille-type mysticism to the very centre of social life, the injunction to destroy order itself, absolutely.