Window into the self

Letters by Jung showing interest in Jewish texts up for auction

While most of the collection, addressed to psychoanalyst Rivkah Schärf Kluger, deals with psychiatry, some never-before-seen letters show Jung’s fascination with Hebrew writings

One of Carl Jung's many letters to his student,  Dr. Rivkah Schärf Kluger. (Kedem Auction House)
One of Carl Jung's many letters to his student, Dr. Rivkah Schärf Kluger. (Kedem Auction House)

A unique collection of never-before-seen handwritten and typewritten letters by renowned psychologist Carl Gustav Jung is set to go up for sale at Jerusalem’s Kedem Auction House next week.

Jung, a Swiss physician, psychiatrist and one of Sigmund Freud’s most notable students, is considered one of modern psychology’s founding fathers who gave rise to the concept of the “collective unconscious.”

The 62 letters, written from 1940 to 1960, were primarily addressed to his student, fellow psychoanalyst and close friend Dr. Rivkah Schärf Kluger — who was Jewish.

While the letters primarily deal with psychiatry, providing an insight into Jung’s theories and thinking, some show his fascination with the Hebrew language and Jewish texts.

In a letter dated May 24, 1944, he thanks Schärf Kluger for sending him a particular kabbalistic composition.

“This [composition] strongly reinforces my own feelings and experiences. I was very impressed by it. In the darkest hours of my illness, every night I found myself in something of a ‘pomegranate orchard,’” he wrote, likely making reference to Rabbi Moses ben Jacob Cordovero’s “Pardes Rimonim” (Pomegranate Orchard).

Dr. Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist who founded the analytical school of psychology, is shown in Zurich, Switzerland, in this undated photo. (AP Photo)

In another letter, he thanked Schärf Kluger for providing him with an interpretation of the Hebrew word rikmah, meaning embroidery, tapestry or biological tissue.

Besides the letters, the collection also includes forty-one photographs, including pictures of Jung at home in Küsnacht, on the outskirts of Zurich.

“This unique collection sheds light on various aspects of Jung’s life and philosophy,” said Meron Eren, Kedem Auction House CEO and co-founder

“This is a true treasure to see such a large collection of unseen letters uncovered and published. A rare occasion for researchers, students, and all who study Jung’s heritage,” he said.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed