is rather for admittance and assimilation—which Nietzsche regards as a possible sign of weakening, while yet insisting that the Jews be allowed this entry. Jewish strength and spiritual treasures will then flow into the new Europe, and the Jews will excel in all walks of life. They might indeed become dominant—not politically but culturally, by renewing European values and setting its normafive tone.

Nietzsche welcomes that prospect as appropriate compensation for the harm inflicted on Europe by the Jews' priestly ancestors. To fulfill their new role, the Jews must give up their uniqueness and seclusion and mix with the other races in creating a Dionysian Europe, freed of Christian culture. If that should happen, the Jews too will be redeemed of their barren isolation and the vestiges of ressentiment that cling to them, and "Israel will have transformed its eternal revenge into an eternal blessing for Europe." Nietzsche in his enthusiasm goes on to envision that even as the re-creation of the world itself (just as he did later in his twilight letter to Burckhardt!) and flies into the following crescendo: "[Then] the ancient Jewish God may rejoice in himself, his creation, and his chosen people—and let us all, all of us, rejoice with him!" (D 205).

Nietzsche thus made himself an advocate of Jewish emancipation and assimilation, for reasons that have nothing to do with liberalism or the Enlightenment, but rather derive from his own "Dionysian" philosophy of power. The anti-Zionism implied in his proassimilation plan also derives from his wish that the Jews "repay their debt to Europe." Nietzsche supports modern Jews for the same reason he attacks their "priestly" ancestors: his concerns remain centered on Europe and its culture. The Jews had corrupted Europe in the past; they are now needed to heal it. (It is noteworthy that Nietzsche's view of the Jews always assigns them some major historical role, whether negative or positive, as befits the theological idea of a "chosen people"—or its Nietzschean secularization.)

Nietzsche, who did not pretend to be an empirical or "scientific" historian, took as many liberties with Jewish history as he did with ancient Hellenism. His characterization of the three periods in Jewish history is debatable. Yet it does illustrate a major point: For Nietzsche there is no constant "Jewish essence," either attached to race or to any other eternal substance . Jewish history is a changing, evolving entity, and has known radical shifts and several shapes. The metaphor of "genealogy," too, must not be taken as indicating an irreversible destiny; for genealogy is not hereditary conditioning. Peoples and individuals can overcome the genealogical traits that their earlier life manifests; they can evolve and adopt new depth-prefer-ences and positions. Nietzschean genealogy points to a psycho-existential "ancestry" of a person's or a group's life-form, rather than to a historical or biological one (though the two may overlap on occasion). It looks for the psychological origin of our coverfly preferred kind of life, action, and

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