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In The Sane Society, Fromm actually readjusts the classical Jewish concept
of galut (exile imposed as divine punishment) to his own thinking. Instead
of the Dispersion regarded as a setback to Jewish life in the Jewish land,
Fromm offers a diaspora viewed as a healthy separation from the land until
such time as the Jewish people "has overcome the incestuous tie to the soil
and to nature." 
There are many other forced characterizations
of biblical thinking that Fromm presents in an authoritative manner, as though
he were describing the true meaning of the Bible (whether psychological or
otherwise) and not just presenting his own views. One more sample of such
homiletic license that may be cited is Fromm's characterization of the biblical
view of love, especially in The Art of Loving, which does violence to the
ancient texts by ignoring the element of God, and the role that the Divine
plays in the commandments to love. 
But Fromm's best insights
into the bible more than compensate for any forced characterizations we might
encounter. You Shall Be As Gods contains many important interpretations of
biblical texts; and there is not a knowledgeable Jewish preacher who at one
time or another has not cited Fromm's brilliant defense of the Sabbath in
The Forgotten Language. What is most remarkable is that it is not merely
the idea of the Jewish Sabbath that Fromm defends, but the rabbinic observance
of it. In the Sabbath rituals, he argued, "we are dealing not with obsessive
over-strictness, but with a concept of work and rest that is different from
our modem concept."  Fromm's concept of the Sabbath comes remarkably
close to that of Abraham Heschel, who was writing at around the same time.
To Fromm, the Jewish Shabbat is "man's victory over time," for "by stopping
interference with nature for one day you eliminate time." 
could isolate many more instances of Fromm as Jewish homiletician and Bible-commentator,
but we have certainly found enough of a pattern to pose a significant question:
Why the preoccupation with the Bible? Is it simply that the biblical tradition
was the one that Fromm knew best, the tradition that he absorbed since childhood?
And why was Fromm so intent on using Hebrew words to illustrate his points?
After all, why play philological word games when one does not accept a particular
text as authoritative?
The temptation is, of course, to psychoanalyze
Fromm, to hypothesize, with one Protestant critic, that Fromm cited the Hebrew
Bible so frequently because it still wielded a certain authority over him.
 Yet one could respond that Fromm also cited New Testament verses, and
became fascinated with Zen literature in his later years.  Perhaps he
quoted the Bible so frequently because everyone knows many of its stories,
and perhaps he turned to Zen out of a conscious or unconscious desire for
new disciplines,  or even out of dissatisfaction with psychoanalysis.
Yet, in all fairness to Fromm, it would seem that he chose to cite the Hebrew
Bible because he put it in a special category. "The Old Testament," Fromm
panegyrizes, "is a revolutionary book; its theme is the liberation of man
from the incestuous ties to blood and soil, from the submission to idols,
from slavery, from powerful masters, to freedom for the individual, for the
nation and for all of mankind."  The prophetic tradition in particular
is glorified by Fromm as a "humanist religion" which required that man "understand
his situation, see the alternatives, and then decide."  Rabbinic tradition,
too, offers worthy guides to human self-betterment. Rabbi Akiba, for example,
is described as "one of the greatest humanists among the sages."