Emmanuel Levinas was a French philosopher of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry who is known for his work related to Jewish philosophy, existentialism, ethics, phenomenology and ontology.
Emmanuelis Levinas (later adapted to French orthography as Emmanuel Levinas) was born in 1906 into a middle-class Litvak family in Kaunas, Russian Empire. Because of the disruptions of World War I, the family moved to Charkow in the Region of Ukraine in 1916, where they stayed during the Russian revolutions of February and October 1917.
For three decades, Levinas gave short talks on Rashi, a medieval French rabbi, every Shabbat morning at the Jewish high school in Paris where he was the principal. This tradition strongly influenced many generations of students. Levinas began his philosophical studies at the University of Strasbourg in 1923, and his lifelong friendship with the French philosopher Maurice Blanchot .
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