E R E I G N I S — the Happenstance — is the divine transmitter of the Es of Es gibt. Being happens to be transmitted by Ereignis.1 (This transmitter is the god2 from whose dangerous gift only another god can save us now.)

Rembrandt Balaam

What the exportation means is that the questioning approach into Ereignis is to be a piously thoughtful receding, a retreat and backward sinking (Schritt züruck), in the direction of Being, deeper into Being’s bowels, into the womb where Being was differentiated by a difference older than the ontological one. This recession and descent is the sacred labour (עבודה) of going back to the womb—hence a kind of evaginated labour—a piety performed on the heath (Heide),3 or rather just under it, inside the soil. The genealogy of the prophet of Ereignis is therefore evident.

Heidegger is a descendant of Balaam.

רשי ויקרא א א. וַיִּקְרָא אֶל משֶׁהלכל דברות ולכל אמירות ולכל צוויים קדמה קריאה לשון חבה לשון שמלאכי השרת משתמשים בו, שנאמר (ישעיה ו ג) וקרא זה אל זה, אבל לנביאי אומות העולם נגלה עליהן בלשון עראי וטומאה, שנאמר (במדבר כג ד) וַיִּקָּר אֱלֹקים אֶל בִּלְעָם.ם

רשי במדבר כג ד. וַיִּקָּרלשון עראי לשון גנאי לשון טומאת קרי, כלומר בקושי ובבזיון, ולא היה נגלה עליוביום אלא בשביל להראות חבתן של ישראל.ל

ויקרא רבה א יג. אין לשון ויקר אלא לשון טומאה, כמה דתימר (דברים כג) אשר לא יהיה טהור מקרה לילה, אבל נביאי ישראל בלשון קדושה, בלשון טהרה, בלשון ברור, בלשון שמלאכי השרת מקלסין בו להקב”ה. כמה דתימר (ישעיה ו) וקרא זה אל זה ואמר.א

Ereignis happens (ויקר) as the primordial happenstance (עראי). It is an “event” that does not happen in time, of course, because it is time itself that is transmitted by Ereignis, by this “event,” by way of a necessary accidentality, or fatality, Schicksal, Ἀνάγκη. Time as such is a fatal gift. This is why Bilaam’s prophetic ecstasies are comparable to nocturnal pollutiones (מקרה לילה). Such pollutions are physiological manifestations of the recession and submersion into the “event” behind and beneath Being. And the physiological capacity that is designed for intercourse, i.e. for travelling along a course from one world into another world, erupts prematurely within a self-enclosed world, as an infertile implosion. What happens as a necessary accidentality is thus an expression of pure worldhood. Such worldhood, unmixed by intercourse with someone else in a medium of worldlessness, is impurity (טומאה). Pollution is too much world, a concentration of worldhood to the point of toxicity.

..ויקרא טו טזוְאִישׁ כִּי תֵצֵא מִמֶּנּוּ שִׁכְבַת זָרַע וְרָחַץ בַּמַּיִם אֶת כָּל בְּשָׂרוֹ וְטָמֵא עַד הָעָרֶב 

 .ראבעכִּי תֵצֵא. שלא ברצונו

Gelassenheit. What happens to the Balaamite prophet is beyond his control. He submerges himself in river, his Rhine, luminis ingentis fluctus,4 and goes with its flow. This happening is his happiness, his daemon.

On dry land, similarly, the heathen descends, recedes, backs down step by step, into the kiva of Being, deeper into the worldhood of the world, ins Blut und Boden des Seins, where the shame (בוש) of the human condition is to be “purged” by means of human blood, evagination, debirthing, the blood of shamelessness, rather than a “for-shame” (לבוש) investiture. But shamelessness, of course, is the antithesis of an absence of shame.5


In his Schwartze Hefte, Heidegger calls Judaism Bodenlosigkeit, “lack of footing,” and Weltlosigkeit, “worldlessness.”6 He has no idea how right he is. Keine blasse Ahnung! (… אלא בשביל להראות חבתן של …) Only the prophetic insight of an “uncovered eye” could possibly see things with such lucidity:

Die Frage nach der Rolle des Weltjudentums is keine rassische, sondern die metaphysische Frage nach der Art von Menschentümlichkeit, die schlechthin ungebunden die Entwurzelung alles Seienden aus dem Sein als weltgeschichtliche “Aufgabe” übernehmen kann.7

Perhaps the only point of muddiness here is the exaggeration implied in the little word alles. There is certainly no question regarding the “uprooting of […] beings from Being” as the world-historical task entrusted to the Jews regarding themselves. The uprootedness and worldnessness implied in this task begins with the first word of the Torah and is developed with unprecedented inwardness and practical force in the Shaar haYihud vehaEmunah and thenceforth. The benedictive term that corresponds to the would-be maledictive Entwurzelung is קדושה. Whether or how this task pertains to “all,” whether or how everyone is to be uprooted and worldless must therefore remain a mystery built into the ministerial office of the Jews as defined in Exodus 19:6. The mystery is not for human hands to unpack. All that is in our hands with respect to uprooting (which precludes every alles) is the non-ministerial aspect of of the task: וגוי קדוש.

וְאַתֶּם תִּהְיוּ לִי מַמְלֶכֶת כֹּהֲנִים וְגוֹי קָדוֹשׁ

But the worldlessness of of the Jew—this is an absolutely fundamental teaching of Kabbalah. Few things are as fundamental.

Bilaam cannot grasp the benedictive essence of his own would-be-curse. This is because he has a deeply conflicted emotional relationship with his donkey in tandem with his nocturnal issues,8 that is, with the event of the material world (חומר). In his very benediction he is granted a glimpse of the Messiah. But does he really understand why the Messiah rides a donkey? Does he understand how that donkey will have overcome every element of innate stubbornness? Does he understand why only the most perfectly worldless man, in the moment when history is perfected, is able to ride a donkey without so much as holding the reins?

Likewise Heidegger’s entire thinking is fundamentally asinine.9 SeinSeynEreignis—this is a harnessed team of donkeys that by miraculous dispensation were lent the power of speech in order to call upon Heidegger’s thinking.