My parents lived a modest life, and their main concern was the education of their children. My father was a self-taught man but had a great intellectual curiosity, not only for biblical and talmudic texts, but also for philosophy, psychoanalysis and history.
An important event in my scientific life has been my appointment as a Professor at the College de France in 1973.
I was born on April 1, 1933, in Constantine, Algeria, which was then part of France. My family, originally from Tangier, settled in Tunisia and then in Algeria in the 16th century after having fled Spain during the Inquisition.
Shortly after my Ph.D., Alfred Kastler urged me to accept a teaching position at the University of Paris. I followed his advice and started to teach at the undergraduate level.