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REVELATION

HAS G-D SPOKEN TO MAN?

REVELATION

Once G-d’s existence is acknowledged, it follows logically that the Purposeful Designer would, in creating a free and conscious creature, have revealed to him the purpose of his life, and the manner of achieving this purpose. A G-d who cares about man is likely to have revealed Himself to His favorite creation.

Furthermore, it is impossible to find the purpose of life within life itself. Therefore, man must go to the transcendent sphere to find it. The Almighty reveals His Being through the mind and emotions, nature and history, but the most direct revelation is by means of prophecy, whereby G-d reveals His Will. The Torah (Teaching) revealed to Moses, represents the objective Will of G-d. This blueprint for civilization, recorded in the Pentateuch and transmitted through Jewish tradition was revealed by the Omnipresent Eternal, and has universal and eternal application.

‘Even communication of man with man is not understood. Why should we think it impossible for G-d to speak to Moses loud words capable of being heard by man, simply because we cannot understand how this can be done by a Being devoid of man’s speaking and hearing? We can no more understand how the mechanical action of our sensiforous organs arouses consciousness of that which is present in somebody else’s consciousness by means of loud, spoken words. Even matter and force are not understood clearly, and transcend human understanding.’ (S. Hirsch). To the Divine Torah, we apply the principle: ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord’ (Isaiah 55:8). The Torah transcends human reason. Much as the contradictions that appear in the sphere of nature and life are solved in the ‘noumenal’ world of G-d, so also are the apparent difficulties in the Pentateuch resolved by realizing that the Torah is beyond external reasoning. It is only the ‘outer garment of the Torah’ which is completely within the reach of reason.

It is in this sense that man is commanded not to go after your own heart and your own eyes after which you go astray (Numbers 15:39), i.e., not to follow materialistic reasoning. The serpent representing materialism began its ugly work by sowing seeds of doubt into man’s mind, saying: ‘Did G-d really speak?!’ (Genesis 3:1).

Ethics

An ethical system which is not divinely founded gives little motive or power for the good life, and is bound to be relative and subjective, uncertain and unstable.

Revelation: Witnessed by All Israel

The people of Israel, numbering millions, attained a prophetic height at the foot of Mount Sinai, when they heard the first part of the Ten Commandments declared to them by G-d. By allowing the people to hear the very same words that G-d spoke to Moses, a basis was provided for the people to believe in Moses as G-d’s permanent spokesman, ‘that the people may hear when I speak with you, and will also believe in you forever’ (Exodus 19:9).

The whole nation was thereby brought to the conviction that the Torah was the Revelation of G-d. The Torah, itself, predicts that the truth of the Revelation at Sinai would be challenged in the course of history, as is happening today: ‘Lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your children and your children’s children… the day that you stood before the Lord your G-d at Sinai’ (Deut. 4:9,10).

The fact of Revelation is assumed as basic by the Prophets. ‘The whole line of prophets, from Moses to Malachi, is based upon this same assumption, and shows unanimity of thought that cannot be a delusion’ (Sanday). An unbroken chain of live Jewish historical tradition, extending over three thousand years, is based upon this Revelation.

The outstanding trait of the Jews throughout history is their ‘stiff-neckedness.’ ‘The hard-hearted scepticism of the Jewish mind shows that they must have been overwhelmed by a shared experience such as the Revelation at Sinai to depart from the vicious immoral cults that held the surrounding nations in their grip’ (Biberfeld). The Jewish people accepted the Torah only because they were convinced of its Divine source and authority.

Uniqueness of Torah

The uniqueness of the Torah is evidenced by the fact that it was in violent conflict with the tendencies of the environment and trends of the age. It formed a sharp contrast to the surrounding nations and could not have arisen from them. The Babylonian civilization was based upon corrupt polytheism and magic. Egypt’s idolatrous cults, land-owning priest-caste, and embalming (based on the concept of physical immortality), were all in opposition to the spirit of the Bible.

Leading modern scholars state: ‘Between Judaism and the coarsely polytheistic religions of Babylon and the old Egyptian faith, there lies an impassable gulf. I can only find one explanation, unfashionable and antiquated though it be. In the language of a former generation. it marks the dividing line between Revelation and unrevealed religion’ (Sayce). ‘If you wish to show the divine superiority of the Bible, place it among the sacred books of the East’ (Mueller). ‘The new discoveries support the claim that Israel was in, but not of, the ancient world’ (Pritchard). ‘The uniqueness of Biblical Revelation has been emphasized by contrast and comparison to the newly understood religions of ancient peoples’ (Elder). Magic and mythology, so prominent in ancient oriental literature, are entirely absent from the Bible.

The Bible possesses an objectivity unmatched by human documents. Nowhere do we find the blunders of people, of its kings and leaders (including Moses and David) so clearly condemned as in the case of the Hebrews, nor do we find elsewhere such unbiased reports of defeats. The Bible is the only historical record that places that places universal values and objective truth above nationalism. No other nation would have made the humiliating claim that it had descended from slaves.

The people of Israel cannot be regarded as the source of the Torah, as they were not up to its standard. They were a stiff-necked people, difficult to educate, immersed in idol-worship, as is shown by the sin of the Golden Calf. We must distinguish between the Torah, and the life of the Israelites. which sometimes reflected the influence of the time, such as elements of polytheism and promiscuity.

The modest, truth-loving Moses, who protested against the acceptance of his task, could not have imposed upon the people. The Torah stresses that he was, by nature, a poor speaker, lacking self-confidence, one who required recourse to the advice of the Midianite. Jethro, in order to administer justice among the people. Moses would not have led the people to wander into the desert, not knowing how to feed them and where to lead them, for forty years, unless by Divine command.

Hidden Structures and Number Patterns

The Divine Designer of the pattern of Nature (that which is revealed through His works: — ‘How great are Your works, 0 Lord, how deep are Your thoughts’ (Psalms 92:6).

Anyone contemplating the vastness, grandeur and harmony of the multiple phenomena of the cosmos, recognizes the One who created and constantly sustains the Universe: ‘How great are Your works.’ The scientists who discover the deeply hidden mathematical formulae and associations in astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, and other sciences, thereby demonstrate the power of the Divine Thinker and Mathematician in the cosmos:

‘How deep are Your thoughts’ and mathematical links. (‘Thought’ = mahshava, root ‘hashav’ to reckon, to bind together.)

The Divine Designer of the pattern of Morality (that which ought to be is revealed through His words: — ‘The Teaching of the Lord (the Five Books of Moshe) is perfect, it inspires the soul’ (Psalms 19:8).

Anyone studying its religious, philosophical, ethical, psychological, social, legal, historical and scientific aspects is inspired by its truth and harmony, and recognizes its Divine Author. The scholars who have delved deeply into the text of the Torah, have found hidden harmonious structures and numerical associations and patterns which demonstrate the Divine Thinker and Mathematician behind the Torah: Uncover my eyes, so that I may see hidden marvels out of Your Torah’ (Psalms 119:18).

The early Torah scholars were called ‘scribes’ or ‘calculators’ because they counted the letters of the Torah (Talmud).

Six represents the three dimensional concrete world of Nature — Creation in 6 days = 6 directions of the material phenomena.

Seven, multiples of seven, and seven squared occur: in repetition of key words and phrases; spacing of letters to produce hidden code-language; as sign of complete retribution; in connection with oaths — it has the same Hebrew root — hishave’a’, in sanctified time periods: Creation, Sabbath, Festivals, Sabbatical and Jubilee Years, nuptial rejoicing, period of mourning, purification process; sacred vessels such as the Candelabrum.

Seven = the centre point, which is abstract, but co-ordinates the six = The mind, the noumenon, the image of all the six directions as one unit = The Mind which conceives and co-ordinates the Time-Space of the Cosmos and brings harmony to the variety of phenomena. It appears to be the symbol of Divine harmony; the word sheva may be connected with save’a = satisfaction, fulfilment, completeness. It has a parallel in Nature in the seven colors of the spectrum and the seven notes of the seven octave.

8 (7 x 7) + 1 = 50 = The Supernatural dimension, represented by miracles, and the miraculous Revelation of Torah.

10 = the number of plagues, Divine words of the Decalogue, minimum number of righteous people to save the city, number of units for measurement of Sanctuary, separation of a tenth in tithing. The word ‘eser’ may be connected with ‘osher’: wealth, abundance, unity in multiplicity.

7 x 10 = 70 nations, souls of Jacob’s tribe, elders of Israel = transformation of individuals to group harmony.

26 = the numerical value of G-d’s ineffable name, and its multiples, especially 26 x 10 x 7 = 1820 as a hidden formula. This is the number of times G-d’s name is mentioned in the Torah. Recently, many remarkable hidden messages have been uncovered by the mathematical and computer analysis of numbers of words, letters, numerical and digital values of letters and words, and spacing of letters.

The Divine origin is proven, since no human agency could possibly have introduced such intricate mathematical structures at such unimaginable depths while preserving a normal and readable narrative on the surface. A change in only one letter would suffice to throw out all these very delicately balanced, intricate and interlocking calculations. To produce such a system would lie beyond the range of the most powerful computer’ (Rav Aryeh Carmell, z’t’l’).

Archaeology

Archaeological discoveries are continually establishing the astonishing accuracy of innumerable details of the Bible. Archaeology shows how unique was the religious insight of the Hebrews, and provides cause for the belief that in the realm of religion they were indeed a chosen people.’ Nowhere has archaeological discovery refuted the Bible as history.’ The careful accuracy of the Bible has been repeatedly confirmed. The writings as an historical source are absolutely first-class’ (Elder).

The traditions of ancient peoples concerning Creation, Paradise, early man, the longevity of pre-Diluvian man, the Flood, etc., as well as the religious and legal heritage of antiquity, corroborate the Biblical account which has retained these traditions in their original purity, and refers to Divine Revelation of Laws and Truth to Adam and Noah. It has been shown that all men are members of one family, that mankind spread over all the continents from one starting point, and that the cradle of the human race was in the region of Mesopotamia. The Tower of Babel, the common origin and later confusion of languages; ‘the table of nations in Genesis 10 which shows a remarkably modern understanding of the linguistic situation in the ancient world that stands absolutely alone in ancient literature’ (Albright), have been confirmed by recent discovery. Many details from the lives of the Patriarchs — Ur of the Chaldees, the Battle of the Kings, the destruction of the Cities of the Plain, names of persons. places and general background in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, and the famine of Egypt, have found corroboration. The same applies to the Egyptian enslavement of Semites, the building of ‘city-stores,’ the oppression, the plagues, the Exodus, the desert wandering, the fall of Jericho, and the conquest of Canaan, as well as hundreds of names and details from the background of this period which are mentioned in the Pentateuch.

Science

Science is confirming many aspects of the Bible. The Scriptures assume that the Universe is immeasurable, that some of the innumerable stars have dark bodies, that the earth is a globe suspended in space, and that there are Laws of Nature. The Bible speaks in language relating to man, as we do ourselves, so it speaks of the sun ‘rising.’

Many scientists today confirm the fact that G-d created the world. Modem scientists write: ‘Mosaic cosmogony is in amazing accord with modem astronomical cosmogony’ (Armellini). ‘No scientific description of the existence of the Universe, and of the man who does the explaining, has superseded the first words of the Bible: In the beginning  G-d created the heavens and the earth!’ (Moulton). ‘The Creation Chapter is a marvellous anticipation of the modem view of creation as moving from the less to the more articulate, and reaching its consummation in man’ (MacFadyen). It is a ‘picture of the universe passing from the more random to the less random state, each step showing a victory of anti-chance over chance’ (Jeans).

The order of created beings is in accord with scientific discoveries. Formless energy was followed by light independent of the sun, which is now known to come from outer space. This first act of creation might explain why the equivalence formula for energy and mass is related to the velocity of light — e=mc2. ‘There are two kinds of waves, bottled-up ones which we call matter, and unbottled waves which we call radiation or light. These concepts reduce the whole universe to a world of light potential or existent, so that the whole story of creation can be told with perfect accuracy and completness in the words ‘Let there be Light!’ (Jeans). The creation of the firmament was followed by sea and land formation, grass, herbs, trees, fish, reptiles, birds, mammals and man. This order is confirmed by geological and biological discoveries. ‘The sciences of geology and biology were unknown in the time of Moses, and yet he writes as if he knew both’ (O’Connell). ‘There was no such knowledge available then. Here we see the marks of Divine Revelation’ (L.T.More). Albright has stated: ‘Modem scientific cosmogonies show such a disconcerting tendency to be short-lived that it may be seriously doubted if science has yet caught up with the Biblical story.’

The great knowledge and understanding of physical phenomena, of agriculture, botany, zoology, genetics, medicine, hygiene and many other branches of science, are most astounding. Some laws of the Torah reveal ‘modern’ scientific knowledge. The lists of birds and mammals in the Dietary Code cover species in outlying countries only recently discovered. The categories of permitted and prohibited mammals are entirely comprehensive. ‘Was Moses a zoologist?’ asks the Talmud. ‘From here we see that the Torah is from Heaven.’ Recent research has demonstrated the ‘advanced ecological wisdom inherent in the laws of the Torah of Moses regarding the green belt of cities, the Sabbatical cycle, the intermingling of plants and animals, the dietary laws, and the laws of purity and impurity’ (A. Hutterman).

Laws of the Torah

Many of the laws of the Torah can only be understood as being directives from a Transcendent G-d. Divine origin must be assumed for such laws as the Sabbatical and Jubilee prohibitions on agriculture, which depend upon G-d’s blessing for their fulfilment. No nation of its own accord would have invented, or accepted from a man, such a rigorous discipline, covering every aspect of life. ‘It is utterly impossible to assume that the Jewish people at any time, because of fraudulent and obscure documents, should have accepted a law governing every detail of human life, and yet have remained faithful to it for thousands of years’ (Biberfeld).

Science of Man

The Torah is a comprehensive, unifying guide for all aspects of life, individual, national and universal, theoretical and practical, hygienic, social, economic and political, metaphysical, psychological and pragmatical, ethical, legal and religious. ‘One may say without hesitation that the Torah is the most complete science of man, and above all the most coherent and unified’ (H. Baruk). It is built upon the harmony of man, as science is built upon the harmony of nature. It is a science of how man is to live; unique in the annals of humanity.

Reasonable

The application of reason to the Torah reveals its thorough reasonability; so much so, that it has with some justice been termed the ‘Religion of Reason.’ ‘Observe, therefore, the words of this Covenant…in order that you will act with reason in whatever you undertake’ (Deut 29:8). The great wisdom inherent in the teachings and regulations of the Torah has been praised by Jewish and Gentile men of wisdom throughout the ages, and especially in modern times, when scientific research has shown the truth of so many facets of these life-directives. This was predicted: It is your wisdom and understanding in the eyes of the nations, when they will hear all these statutes, they will say: ‘this great people is surely a wise and understanding nation…For where is there a great people that has such righteous statutes and judgements like the whole of this Torah?’ (Deut. 4:6,8).

Living Faith

The truth of the Torah and its inherent Divinity reveal themselves to everybody who fulfils it and lives by it: ‘The righteous shall live by his faith’ (Habakkuk 2:4). ‘The commandments of G-d are of goodly understanding to all those that fulfil them’ (Psalms 111:10). This ‘pragmatic’ test of truth is of especial significance in the Jewish way of life which sees little value in theory without practice. It is this that makes the Torah into a ‘Tree of Life.’ We must therefore conclude that the Torah is Divine Revelation.

Reasonable Illusions

Reasonable Illusions

Are there Limits to Rationalistic Science?

 

Rav B. Horovitz

Perception flows from the structure of the human mind, and is therefore partly subjective. Facts of science change from generation to generation, and are the subject of constant controversies. Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation and the Law of the Immutability of the Elements, considered facts not long ago, are rejected today. Einstein wrote: ‘There are no eternal theories in Science,

Let us begin with a crucial point. “The laws of science are not inviolable. They represent a constantly changing logical complex, changing from decade to decade, and even from year to year. Lest this may surprise you, let me remark that the world of science is not identical with the physical world itself, with the real world, if you like. “Science is a model of the real world that we construct inside our own heads.” (F. Hoyle) It is an “abstraction arrived at by confining thought to formal relations. The concrete world has slipped through the meshes of the scientific net. The exploration of the external world by methods of science leads not to a concrete reality, but to a shadow world of symbols.” (Whitehead) This comes from the paradox that exists between all objective thought (which is in terms of universals and abstractions), and personal human experience (which is concrete).

“Faith in reason cannot by justified by any inductive generalisation.” (Whitehead) “All scientific knowledge must be built upon intuitive beliefs,” (B. Russell) for reasoning is only a method of proving which itself cannot be proven.

Reason is an instrument of the mind which analyzes the material given to it. The motive that impels a person to use his reason in a certain direction, and to select facts, is his emotional interest in a subject, and a certain goal — a university degree, a scientific discovery, or a new theory that he wishes to formulate. It all depends on what reason attempts to prove and which master it serves. The over-weaning confidence of man in his own intellectual powers plays an important part in rationalistic world-views.

Schools of thought in psychology and history reach opposing conclusions, although they proceed from a rationalistic basis. The weight which is attached to specific facts is often left to emotional bias. This is apparent in the national trends in philosophy (British — ‘fairplay’ and ‘commonsense;’ French — naturalism; German — systematized idealism — ‘Ordnung,’ which is ambivalent; American — pragmatic ‘what-pays’).

Man strives to live by values, but the world which is apparently presented by science is blind to values of good and evil. One cannot define what man ought to be from that which he actually is. Free choice, moral responsibility and guilt are basic experiences without which man’s life loses its sense of purpose. Yet some rationalists regard them as illusions.

Science can only provide the ‘what’ but not the ‘why’ or purpose of the phenomena of Nature, nor ‘who’ produces them. But do not faith and reason really belong to two different spheres, two different faculties in the make-up of man? Can the eye perceive the grandeur of music, or the tongue taste the beauty of colors? So too the soul cannot be analyzed with a microscope, nor G-d scanned with a telescope. Neither can one, in retrospect, view G-d’s speaking with man by using the spade of the archaeologist. To deduce that the soul, G-d, prophecy and revelation do not exist, is to reason like the fisherman who proved that water did not exist because his net never brought it up.

Reason can come near to these concepts, yet it can never fathom them to the full, much as science may be able to analyze a person chemically (worth a few dollars in the drug store) without conveying real knowledge of the person. Similarly, religious faith is required for a knowledge of the Personal Ethical G-d.

These dimensions of experience have been variously formulated: synthetic and analytic, intuitive and discursive, inward and external, attachment and detachment, subjective (I-Thou) and objective (I-It). Faith deals with meaning, truth and ends, but reason deals with measurements, facts and means.

Reason often begins with doubt, faith with certainty. Faith is from the feeling of the heart, reason from the thinking of the mind. “ Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait pas.” (Pascal) “Do not all charms fly at the mere touch of cold philosophy?” (Keats)

Religion without science is blind, science without religion is lame” (Einstein). Truth should never be suppressed to conform to our notion of coherence” (Hutchinson). In science, paradoxes are accepted, as in the Theory of Complementarity: experiments demonstrate that light possesses the properties of particles (corpuscles — Newton), while other experiments show it to be composed of waves (Huyghens). Logically it cannot be both, but empirically it is. So, Religion and science, dealing with differing spheres, complement one another” (Max Planck).

When people discard faith because of reason, they bring disaster not only to their own and their neighbor’s world-view and personality, but to the stability and peace of society. The events of the Twenty-First Century have taught us that reason and the scientific method based on it may be an invaluable servant, but when it becomes master, it may destroy humanity’s faith, sense of values of good and evil, and moral responsibility.

Judaism and the Permissive Society

Judaism

and the

Permissive

Society

 

By Rabbi B. Horovitz.

Is Our Society More Permissive Than Others?

Sociologists stress that which everyone experiences, namely that we live in an age of social change and upheaval, of the breakup of the old order of society. Yet the new order is in some ways less permissive than the old, both in the legal and the social sense of the word. In the legal sphere, we are hedged about and restricted by laws which limit our freedom in the areas of travel, finance and business, the spoken and the written word, drug usage, etc. In the social sphere, the persuasive materialism of Western civilization has weakened the freedom of the individual and has brought about what the sociologists term an “other-directed” mode of behaviour, i.e. that which is motivated by a desire to follow others. As David Riesman says at the conclusion of his notable book “The Lonely Crowd”:

“If the other-directed people should discover... that they no more assuage their loneliness in a crowd of peers, than one can assuage one’s thirst by drinking sea water, then we might expect them to become more attentive to their own feelings and aspirations. The idea that men are created free and equal is both untrue and misleading. Men are created differently. They lose their social freedom and individual autonomy in seeking to become like each other.” The mass media of today, and the closeness and intensity of all communication, create a constant barrage of influences upon human individuality which are in danger of weakening it. Instead, the individual strives to adhere to the status symbols which are created by the mass media and the strong communications which influence him. He wishes to belong to what is fashionable, to be “with it” in ideas, in way of life and dress, to conform to the fashionable way of thinking and behaving. This frequently leads to the loss of individuality and freedom.

On the other hand, our society is certainR more permissive in various fundamental Wd\ These fall into ten categories, which we now consider.

1 . Morals. Relativistic ethics which are fashionable according to the code of the ne\ morality do not accept any absolute mora power above man. They adopt the philosoph\ that “there’s no such thing as good or bad ‘this only thinking makes it so.” They accept no code of right or wrong. Relativistic ethic% are based partly upon a misconstruction, an application of apparent scientific principles to spheres where they do not apply. The principle of casuality which is today doubted in the sphere of physics, has been transferred to the sphere of morality, and forms the basR for the sciences of psychology and sociolog This has largely led to viewing sin as an illusion or even as a maladjustment to a certain “pattern of culture”. It is assumed that real values are only illusions that are relative to a specific pattern of culture. These ideas are taught by professors and leaders of our present day society.

2. Sanctions. This relativism has led to the removal of all moral or religious sanctions. The only ones that exist are legal or totalitarian. As a result, guilt and shame have gradually disappeared. Since this view does not accord with reality, anxiety takes their pace, with far more serious consequences. We need not be surprised if the younger generation has no respect for any authority, even for the university professors who have inculcated these principles into their minds and hearts.

3. Insecurity. The general anxiety is increased by the insecurity which exists in our generation after two world wars and the knowledge that we live under the threat of nuclear destruction. This has led to a society which is filled with a spirit of anarchy and tension, and which lives under the symbol of the bomb.

4. Widened Horizons. The enormous advances in the twentieth century in educational opportunities, the proliferation of new spheres of knowledge and the availability of new experiences has led to a plurality of perception and to a widening of the horizons facing the younger generation. However, there has been no comparable advance in moral and spiritual guidance. No direction has been given to contemporary youth to help them know in which way to make use of and to which purpose to direct the knowledge and experience which they have been given.

5. Leisure. The increase of leisure time and the surplus of means available in Western civilization has created a situation in which people have an overabundance of both vJthout knowing for which purpose it is to be used. It has created an inner vacuum in the life of man. Self-Indulgence. Frequently we find :nat self-indulgence and the consumption of oods dominate human behaviour and are recarded as the end of life. This has created a sirit of apathy and withdrawal from serious concern as to the purpose of living, and has ntroduced to the experience of life what is nown as the “fun syndrome”.

Experimentation. All this leads to anattempt amongst the young to experiment in all spheres without regard to the spirit of harmony. Experimentation in aspects of life which are regarded in present day society as being forbidden, is obviously very attractive. According to Proverbs, “stolen waters taste sweet”. In our age of hippies and trippies, of flower-power and psychedelic experiences, pot-indulgence, drop-outs and ins, sit downs, get highs, of drugs, gambling and vandalism, it is the spirit of prohibition itself which creates the excitement.

8. Marriage. It is above all in the sphere of marriage that the permissiveness of our generation reveals itself. There is an increase of promiscuity, and public expression in its favour. Recently, a prominent newspaper featured the photograph of a bride in a dustbin with the caption; “Are we the last Married Generation?” Premarital and extramarital relationships have not only been condoned, but are officially advocated. Sexual perversions and homosexuality have become the subject of experimentation amongst large sections of the younger generation. We live in the age of the pill, an age of the pursuit of pleasure without fruit, of self-indulgence without responsibility. This has led to a great deal of unhappiness and insecurity, to unwanted children, to VD, and to the breakup of marriage and the family.

9. Family Relationship. Not only is there a breakdown of the natural and wholesome relationship between man and women, there is a similar breakdown of the relationship between parent and child. Since the attitude towards society is an egalitarian instead of a functional one, human beings are viewed as having equal status. This has led to a situation wherein husband and wife, parent and child are regarded as equal voices in the family. We therefore sometimes have the situation where, instead of parents bringing up children, it is the children who bring up the parents. “The young shall put the elders to shame, the elders shall rise up before the little ones, the son shall disown the father and the daughter rise up against her mother.” We live in an atmosphere of other-directedness where only peers matter. There is, therefore, a large gap between the generations. This is due to a large extent to the permissive attitude parents have towards their young, and also because the young find themselves in a chaos created by adults. This has affected the jewish community as well, where there is increasing unhappiness and delinquency amongst the youth.

10. Order. The permissiveness of our generation with its concomitant disorder pervades many spheres of life. It shows itself in the chaotic character of much music, in the plastic arts, in painting and poetry. The artist expresses through his medium the tohu and bohu of our generation.

How Judaism Removes the Evils of the Permissive Society

We will now examine in detail how Judaism combats the various negative aspects of the permissive society which we have described.

1. Morals. Through its belief in an absolute moral power and by instilling a constant consciousness of this power, Judaism developsin man firmness and stability in moral values. The Book of Koheleth, which begins by showing the relativity in nature, human behaviour and society and morals, ends with the words “the end of the matter, when every thing has been heard is: fear G-d and observe His commandments for this is the whole of man.” This means that by accepting the absolute code of the commandments of G-d all the relativities of life can be transformed into meaningful and stable modes of living. Man is created in the image of G-d — Tze!em Elokim

- indicating that he can relate himself to the absolute One, and by striving to imitate Him gain absolute significance for his life. This does not mean that the absolute code of objective ethics of Judaism does not take into consideration the subjective circumstances of the individual. As it is said in Proverbs: “The thief who stole because he is hungry will not be despised”. Our sages speak of the tinok shenishbah — of the infant who has been taken into captivity amongst idolators — who is not regarded as responsible for the sins he has committed. This is not to be confused with relativistic ethics; rather, in judging the behaviour of an individual, one must at all times take into consideration all the subjective aspects of his circumstances. The objective code of ethics remains stable and firm throughout.

2. Sanctions. The basic sanction of Jewish observance is a moral and religious one. In the Diaspora, these are the only sanctions which exist. The sense of guilt which this can create is better than the anxiety and neurosis which are the end-product of permissiveness. Through constant moral education — Torah study — respect for religious and moral authority is built up in the minds and hearts of committed Jews, which is in direct contrast to the lack of respect for authority which characterises student protest and unrest.

3. Insecurity. Instead of the spirit of insecurity which characterizes our age, Judaism inculcates bitachon and emunah, trust and firm belief, It teaches: “the L-rd is with me, I have no fear. What can man do unto me?... It is better to shelter with G-d than to trust in man.” The Gaon of Vilna explains that chasah, the root of the Hebrew word for “shelter”, means to trust when there has been no promise. In other words, it is better to rely upon G-d when there has been no clear promise than to rely upon the promise of man. The observance of the Sabbath, the symbols of the Sukah, the daily prayers and blessings bring about a situation of happiness and firmness in the life of a Jew. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the L-rd.”

4. Widened Horizons. The Jewish term for education, hinuch, indicates that its ideal is one of consecration, education towards high spiritual and moral ideals. With such moral guidance, wide experience and increasing educational opportunities will not bring confusion and will not lead to the loss of a sense of direction. The Torah, says the Book of Proverbs, grants discerment to peta’im. The word “peti” (usually translates as “simple”) describes one who is open (patach) — like our generation — to manifold and often conflicting influences and trends of thought and life. What is required is discernment, clear guidance as to what is right and what is wrong. This is given by the Torah. The Ethics of the Fathers states: “Who is a wise man? He ssho learns from every man, as it is said: ‘I hase learned from all those who could teach me because your statutes were my constant thought and conversation’.” In other words, width of experience and broadness of mind can do a great deal of good as long as a person has a measuring graph — the statutes of G-d

whereby he can know what to accept and what to reject.

This does not mean to say that Judaism ads ocates repression. The Sages (in Talmuc Yerushalmi, Kidushin) say that “man in the future will have to give an account and reckoning of everything that his eye saw from which he did not derive benefit and pleasure. This is not to be regarded as an advocation o hedonism. Its meaning is that only if a person combines his self-indulgence with moral and religious experience does he derive full benefit and joy, and insure that the indulgence wil not develop into misery. It is with such moral guidance that a person can develop his personal freedom and individuality. He will not be in danger of becoming a slave to his environment.

5. Leisure. Leisure has never posed a problem for the Jew but has been his greatest opportunity. Bitul Zeman, waste of time on things of nought, is regarded as a great crime. Time is the greatest possession of man, and should be used for the fulfillment of divine commandments, for the betterment of humanity, for the improvement of self, of one’s knowledge and understanding of Torah.

6. Self-Indulgence. Consumption and indulgence should never be regarded as an end but are an important means. Judaism believes in the concept of Simcha she! Mitzvah. This means that the ideal, the end, is the Mitzvah

— the fulfillment of G-d’s commandment. Indulgence of this nature can remain constant and will lead to S/mcha, to spiritual growth. Rabbi Yehuda Halevi in his Kuzari describes the ideal personality as the Chasid, the saint in whose character all qualities play a part. He suppresses neither spiritual nor material faculties but instead harmonizes them all for the purpose of fulfilling G-d’s commandments. It is this type of ideal towards which the Jew

should strive and which will lead to a constant spirit of positive achievement and the love of G-d. It is important to realize that contrary to common belief, the love of G-d frequently takes precedence over the fear of G-d, as we say in our daily prayers, “Le’ahava u/eyirah et shmecha” — ‘to love and fear Your Name.” This means that educationally the do’s should take precedence over the don’ts. The positive aspects of Judaism, which frequently make use of the material inclinations of man rather than suppressing them, are a priority in Jewish life. This is expressed in the words of the Sages: “I have created the Torah as a spice for the evil inclinations” (not an antidote as it is usually translated). This means that the material inclinations of man will not bring him constant pleasure, unless he spices them v ith the Torah. A spice is used in order to give extra taste and extra pleasure. So the Torah will do the same to the material inclinations of man, if he uses them for the service of G-d.

7.

life

not

strive to satisfy the instinctive drives through Torah. As the Sages have said, “If the evil inclination meets you, then draw him into the house of study. If he is made of fire, the

YdtO15 of th Torah will ccnch him, If he is made of stone, then the waters of the Torah \%ill melt him.” This means that the evil inb lination, the primitive instincts of man, will

ind far greater satisfaction and happiness in :ne study and observance of Torah than in nv experimentation outside this sphere. “It

- healing for all his flesh” (Proverbs). The Torah brings a spirit of harmony, integrity 2nd wholeness to the life of man, which gives im great creativity and makes all perverse 2nd lower modes of life seem trivial and un\citing.

. Marriage. In the sphere of marriage, udaism offers us the deepest satisfaction, stability and sanctity. It regards marriage as the ideal state, considering an unmarried person as a ravak — an empty man or women. It nelieves in setting up a relationship within marriage of kidushin and nisuim — of sanctifi

Experimentation. Judaism will make far more exciting if people experiment in all sorts of perversities, but insteadcation and uplift. It introduces the balance between a very strong physical relationship and a stong platonic one. This is done through the laws of Nidah and Mikveh, which bring about a constant renewal of the initial happiness within marriage to husband and wife, and produce a renewal of their marriage relationship. This constant renewal of love within marriage creates a spirit of security for the children, surrounding them with an atmosphere of harmony, solidarity, stability and love. The frittering away of sexual powers which is taught by the new morality has an adverse effect upon culture, as is shown in the important writings of Unsworth on “Sex and Culture”. Judaism believes in principles of discipline, in chastity for the sake of chastity. It is only by opposing extra-marital and premarital experimentation, by introducing a strict discipline upon the sexual instincts of man, that human misery can be avoided, and happiness within marriage can be developed. The energies of human beings can also be sublimated and evolved for higher cultural and religious purposes. In contrast to the permissive slogans of our society, Judaism believes that pleasure without fruit, that pleasure for its own sake, is self-defeating. For all indulgence involves responsibility.

9. Family Relationship. Judaism believes in the functional attitude towards society. This indicates that a husband and a wife have their specific roles to fulfill in life, different from one another. Parents and children likewise, in order to set up a harmonious unit of the family, must play out their specific roles. K/bud av vaem — children must show honour to their parents. Parents, on the other hand, must show understanding towards their children and have duties towards them. Their duties are not just material ones, but spiritual ones — “veshinantam levanecha”

“You shall teach Torah to your children.” If parents teach children there is no fear of a generation gap, as there is constant communication concerning important and fundamental issues of life between the older and the younger generation. It is only when this communication breaks down, when there is no spiritual contact between parents and children, that the younger generation altogether revolts against the dominance of the older generation. In Jewish life, however, father and child establish a close bond through the study of the Torah. Through the observance of G-d’s commandments they are able to walk together to fulfill these commandments — “vayelchu shnechem yachdav”.

If humanity would adopt the universalethics of Judaism, introducing its pattern of international relations, as well as basic principles that should govern all human beings, the world would not be in such a state. Then the younger generation would have respect for the manner in which the older generation is conducting world affairs. Judaism requires that we involve ourselves in bringing its universal ethics to humanity. It is this aim which underlies the idealism of many of the younger people and makes them turn against the older generation who are so often concerned with self-interest. Judaism, which opposes this self-interest, can serve as an ideal bridge between the young and old, if it would be adopted universally.

10. Order. Judaism teaches us to introduce order, system and control in life, making it into a constructive adventure.

This is illustrated by the mitzvah of tzizith. The garment in which the Jew envelops himself represents the type of atmosphere and influence into which he should be immersed. The tzizith are to be tied into knots to remind us that the Jewish religion requires a measure of self-control, but two thirds of the thread are left free and open, to show that through control a double measure of creativity and freedom can be produced. The tzizith also teach us that “You should not go astray after your eyes and your heart”; that a person should not just follow the whims and fancies of his heart and eyes, which view things externally and materially. Instead, he should be kadosh — one who dedicates his whole life to G-d in a constructive manner and removes himself from all forms of moral chaos. Judaism teaches not self denial but self-discipline, for the purpose of self fulfillment. Judaism can thrive most positively in a permissive society. In our age even more than in others, the positive meaning of the Jewish way of life can fill the vacuum existing in present day society. Judaism teaches that “motar ha-adam rn/n ha-BeI-iema ayin”; the advantage of man over the beast lies in the ability to say “no” to many of the permissible acts and activities of present day society. It is only in this way that we can structure a life built not on permissiveness, but on freedom — the freedom which lies in subservience to the law of G-d.

Knowing G-d

Knowing G-d

by Rabbi B. Horovitz;0]

The prophet Moses posed the question, “What is G-d’s name?” (Exodus 3:13) and received the response, “I am that I am.”

This is the root of the ineffable name of G-d, referring to absolute

existence.

Hebrew for “name”, “Shem” from the root “to estimate/measure,” refers to the relationship between observer and the object -. the relativity of all knowledge.

For the truth of the rational processes of the mind, of the existence of the body, of sense-perception and of the physical universe, is based upon unproven postulates. Our rational conception of the universe is limited by time and space, and is relative. Therefore, human thoughts cannot make any claim to absolute truth. However, if everything is relative, there is nothing certain and absolute to which anything can be related.

Fundamentals can, therefore, only be ascertained by the transcendence of reason, by the existential “leap of faith,” which is not a leap in the dark, but a leap into light. Only by breaking through the natural limitations of life can the Absolute, which is the ground of existence, be reached.

If G-d is taken as the starting point of all thought and experience, the homeless spirit finds anchorage. Reason, freedom, values and concrete experience acquire a firm foundation in their relation to the True Absolute One in whose image man has been created. “Vanity of vanities.., all is vanity.., that which has been will be... there is a vicious circle in nature, society and reasoning.., all is governed by relativity... the end of the matter, when all is heard, is: Become aware of G-d and observe His commandments, for this is the whole of man.’ (Ecciesiastes)

“The fundamental of all fundamentals and the pillar of sciences is to know that there is a Prime Being who causes all things to exist. All beings only exist through the truth of His existence. If it could be thought that He does not exist, nothing else can exist, and if it could be thought that nothing apart from Him exists, He alone will exist. All beings are dependent upon, and relative to Him, but He is not dependent upon them. Therefore the truth of His existence is not like the truth of any other being.”‘G-d is truth’ for only He is Absolute Truth, all else is relative truth.” (Maimonides)

Thinkers have stated: “Credo ut intelligam.”“1 believe in order to reason.”“Faith-principles are the foundation of all philosophies.” (Richardson) “All our reasoning reduces itself to yielding to feeling.” (Pascal) Every reasoning process is based upon “a priori” assumptions.

The choice lies between faith in some false absolute, in man, or man-made idols. the construction of our hands, hearts and mind, the service of the self or its projection; or faith in the true Absolute G-d as the measure of all things.

The Ineffable Name of G-d. ‘the Lord” means. that He is the Absolute Being, ‘1 am that I am.’ (Exodus 3:14) Who gives relative existence to all things. Everything has a name. i.e. is related to and caused by other objects, but I, G-d, am the Creator of the Time-Space Continuum. The Hebrew for “to exist,”‘Haya,” is re lated to the root “Haga,” which means ‘to think.” G-d’s essence is absolute existence and thought. Modern philosophy is generally traced back to Descartes, who doubted the truth of all existence. He concluded “cogito ergo sum....! am doubting” everything, the existence of myself. the universe, “it proves that I must exist,” otherwise how could I be doubting? From the truth of his own existence, he came to accept the carol lary - the truth of existence of the universe and of G-d.

According to Judaism, “cogitor ergo sum ““I am thought, therefore I exist;” for man knows that his existence is only relative Absolute existence belongs to the One Who’s existence cannot be related to any other known cause; for He is the cause of all existence. He exists.., because He exists’ am that I am.” He thinks because He thinks His thought has produced human thoucht in man. Man exists because G-d thinks that Hr so exist (Haya). This name means absolute existence, even if there is no world nor man, — The Transcendence of G-d.

The other name of G-d. “El-him “is mentioned in the opening verse of Genesis’“In the beginning. G-d

— El-him — created the heavens and the earth.” The Hebrew word comes from the root “El” meaning a force.” El-him are the non-material forces known to mankind through Nature. This ‘immanence’ of one G-d within the world, is described in the singular Hebrew verb Who ‘created’ (bara’) in the beginning of (time & causality) the heavens (space) and the earth (matter),

Many scientists have declared, “the purpose of science is to find the harmony of nature.” (Einstein) The forces of gravity and electro-magnetism, from nkuement of the galaxies to movement in the subatomic universe, all follow a unified system, for One G-d is constantly creating all.

The iiolvtheists. riot recognizing the unity be- :ween the forces, set up idols that represented power. love, fertility, or wealth. These are the strange Elohim, described with a plural verb, revealed in Nature.

This is the root of Pantheism which existed as a philosophy in Greek times and was developed into its modern form, “De,us sive nattira”. G-d is equivalent to nature,” by Spinoza. It is assumed by the scientific explanations which use the words “the wisdom, laws torcos and harmony of Nature,” with a capital “N’” This is ihe “immanence” of G-d.

It found its religious expression in the worship of nature and the natural inclinations of man in ancient paganism and modern materialism. For if all nature and experience are holy, then the good and bad are equally holy. One can trace a line of descent from Spinoza’s pantheism via Hegel to Marx and Lenin’s communism to modern materialism which exclude any Spiritual Being.

Dualism, which divides the divine spirit from matter, was expressed in ancient times by the doctrine of Zoroaster, which regarded the powers of good and evil as light and darkness which wage an eternal battle. Some eastern religions accept this dualistic nature of the universe and man, opposing body and soul. and pursuing self-abnegation. It is also apparent in the Christian view that man gains redemption by cutting himself off from the influences of the body. The Pope and saints did not marry, in order to be released from the bonds of Satan. The realm of the temporal is divided from the spiritual: — “render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar, and unto G-d that which belongs to G-d.”

‘Others, Deists, admit that there must be a G-d Who created the world, but He is separate from, and indifferent to his creation. Or, they reject creation and believe in the eternal existence of matter and of

G-d.

Among thinking men, only the most extreme atheistic materialists would describe the world in terms that there is no G-d at all. But there are some base people who do not attempt to think. “The base man says in his heart there is no G-d.” (Psalms 14:1) This expresses ancient and modern atheism. The base person rejects every moral authority by saying to himself, “only I am the power,” as though he were

G-d.

Unlike the complete falsehood of Atheism, these views of Pantheism. Dualism and Deism are deceptive half-truths. Judaism represents the full truth, which is described in recent philosophy as “Panentheism,” a combination of Deism and Pantheism, the Transcendence of G-d with His Immanence.

The Jewish Mystics declare. ‘He surrounds all worlds, but He also fills all the worlds.’‘The world is not His place, but He is the Place of the world.’ This is not in a spatial, materialistic sense, but as a concept. ‘He dwells high up in the heavens, but comes down low upon the earth.” He is both ‘out there’ and ‘deep within.’ (Psalms 113:5) He is the furthest and the nearest, the highest and the lowest. Though beyond us, He is closest to us. “1 am the Lord (transcendent source of existence — the deeper meaning of the Ineffable Name), and there is none else, apart from me there is no G-d (El-him meaning ‘forces” — the immanence of G-d.” (Isaiah 45:5) From both angles. “there is no other”; the unity between the two is produced by constant creation (creationism).

“Hear 0 Israel. the Lord is our G-d; the Lord is One.” (Deuteronomy 6:14) “The Lord,” Whose name is not pronounced because He is above language and experience, is also ‘G-d, El-him,” Who reveals Himself through language, nature and histor. This unity is shown in that He is the cause of all existence. “The Lord is One.”

Deriving Pleasure

Deriving Pleasure

The sociologists stress that which everyone experiences, namely that we live in an age of social change and upheaval; of the breakup of the old order of society. Yet the new order is in some ways less permissive than the old, both legally and socially:

A) Legal: In the spheres of travel, finance and business, the spoken and the written word, the taking of drugs, etcetera, we are hedged about and restricted by the increasing number of laws which limit our freedom.

B) Social: The persuasive materialism of Western civilization has weakened the freedom of the individual and has brought about what the sociologists term an ‘other-directed’ mode of behavior, that is to say, that which is motivated by a desire to follow others. ‘If the other-directed people should discover that they no more assuage their loneliness in a crowd of peers, than one can assuage one’s thirst by drinking sea water. ..The idea that men are created free and equal is both untrue and misleading. Men are created differently. They lose their social freedom and individual autonomy in seeking to become like each other’ (D.Reisman, The Lonely Crowd). The mass media of today, the closeness and intensity of communication, create a constant barrage of influences upon the individual, which influence him to adhere to the status symbols which the media create. He wishes to belong to what is fashionable, to conform, to be ‘with it’ - in ideas, in way of life and dress. This means the loss of individuality and freedom. But society is more permissive in various fundamental ways:

Relativistic ethics which are fashionable according to the code of the new morality do not accept any absolute moral power above man. They adopt the philosophy that ‘there’s no such thing as good or bad; tis only thinking that makes it so’. Relativistic Ethics are based partly upon a misconstruction, a mis-application of apparent scientific principles. The principle of causality which is today adopted in the sphere of physics, has been transferred to the sphere of morality, and forms the basis for many schools of psychology and sociology. This has led to viewing sin as an illusion or as a maladjustment to ‘patterns of culture’.

This has led to the removal of all moral or religious sanctions. The only ones that exist are legal or totalitarian. Guilt and shame gradually disappear. Since this view does not accord with reality, anxiety takes their place with more serious consequences. The younger generation lacks respect for authority, even for the university professors who have inculcated these principles into the minds of their students. Therefore, they have no right to be surprised at student protest and unrest.

The general anxiety is increased by the insecurity which exists in our generation after two world wars, and the threat of nuclear and ecological destruction.

The enormous increase in twenty-first century education in new spheres of knowledge, the availability of new experiences and more leisure time has led to a widening of the horizons facing the younger generation. In technology, there has been progress without parallel. However, there has been no comparable increase in moral and spiritual guidance. No direction has been given to them to know in which way to make use of  -  and to which purpose to subject  -   the knowledge and experience which are given to them.

In our “other-directed’ society, behavior is motivated by conformity and external materialistic values. rather than in accordance with inner principles. There is a vacuum in the sphere of inward decision and values.

Indulgence and the consumption of goods dominates human behavior. This has created a spirit of apathy and withdrawal from serious concern as to the purpose of living, and has produced the fun syndrome.

Experimentation with lifestyles which are regarded as being forbidden, obviously gives more attraction. ‘Stolen waters taste sweet’ (Proverbs 9:17). In our age of psychedelic experience, pot-indulgence, get highs, of drugs, gambling and vandalism, it is the spirit of prohibition which itself creates the excitement.

There is an increase of sexual promiscuity, and public expression in its favor. Recently, a prominent newspaper featured the photograph of a bride in a dustbin with the caption: ‘Are we the last Married Generation?’ Premarital and extramarital relationships, sexual perversions and homosexuality have become the subject of experimentation amongst large sections of youth. We live in the age of the pill, an age of the pursuit of pleasure without fruit, of indulgence without responsibility. This has led to a great deal of unhappiness and insecurity, to unwanted children, to AIDS and to the breakup of marriage and the family.

Not only is there a breakdown of the wholesome relationship between man and women, there is a similar breakdown of the relationship between parent and child. The attitude towards society is egalitarian instead of functional, all beings are viewed as having equal status. Parents and children are regarded as equal voices in the family. In a large family, children would out-vote the parents. Instead of parents bringing up children, it is the children who bring up the parents. ‘The young shall put the elders to shame, the elders shall rise up before the little ones, the son disowns the father and the daughter rises up against her mother’ (Isaiah 3:5). We live in an atmosphere of other-directedness where only peers matter, and youth and beauty rule.

The large generation gap is due to the permissive attitude parents have towards their young, and also because the young realize that the world is in a mess, created by adults.

Alienation pervades many spheres of life. It shows itself in the chaotic character of music, the plastic arts, painting and poetry. The artist expresses through his medium the Tohu and Vohu of our generation.

Judaism

Judaism is partly based upon ‘other-directedness’, that is to say, the establishment of a society wherein the pattern of observance becomes conventional. However, its main mode of approach to life is ‘inner-directedness’. Judaism demands constant work upon one’s inner self, and behaving not according to any external standards, but according to the standards demanded by the conscience, the inner voice of G-d. This is identified with the traditions of Judaism, the pattern of life which sets up ideals above the standard of values accepted by one’s peers. It therefore gives man freedom and individuality.

In some ways, Judaism can thrive more in an atmosphere of permissiveness which is tolerant, than in an atmosphere of persecution. It also provides new challenges. In our age when all types of dress, behaviour and values are tolerated, no one need be ashamed of adopting the specific Jewish life-style and choosing prayer instead of psychedelic experiences and learning the Torah instead of addiction to LSD and pot.

‘The advantage of wisdom from folly is like the advantage of light from darkness’ (Ecclesiastes 2: 13). Just as one appreciates light most when one comes from the dark, so one can appreciate the wisdom - the art and science of living - of the Torah far more deeply coming from the atmosphere of confusion and ignorance of contemporary society.

The belief in and awareness of an Absolute Moral Power gives firmness and stability to moral values. The Book of Ecclesiastes, which begins by showing relativity in nature, human behavior, society and morals, ends with the words ‘the end of the matter, when everything has been heard is: fear G-d and observe His commandments for this is the whole of man’ (Ecclesiastes 12:13). By accepting the absolute code of the commandments of G-d all the relativities of life can be transformed into a purposeful style of living.

 

The ‘image of G-d’ in which man was created indicates that man can relate himself to the Absolute One and, by striving to emulate Him, gain absolute significance for his life. The code of objective ethics of Judaism does take consideration of the subjective circumstances of the individual. ‘The thief who stole because he is hungry will not be despised’ (Proverbs 6:30). Our Sages speak of the infant taken into captivity among idolators, who is not regarded a responsible for the wrongs he has committed. This is not to be confused with relativistic ethics, but rather that in judging the behavior of an individual, one must take into consideration all the subjective aspects of his circumstances, but the objective code of ethics remains stable and firm.

The basic sanction of Jewish observance is moral and religious. The sense of guilt which this induces is better than anxiety and neurosis which is the end product of permissiveness. Through constant moral education, Torah-study, respect for religious and moral authority is built up in the minds and hearts of committed Jews which is in direct contrast to the lack of respect of authority which characterizes student protest and unrest.

Instead of the spirit of insecurity which characterizes our age, Judaism inculcates trust and firm belief. It teaches ‘the L-rd is with me, I have no fear. What can man do unto me. It is better to shelter with G-d than to trust in man’ (Psalms 118:6,8). The observance of the Sabbath, the symbols of the Sukkah, the daily prayers and blessings bring about a situation of happiness and stability in the life of a Jew.

 

Education (Chinuch) in Hebrew is equivalent to ‘consecration’, towards spiritual and moral ideals. With moral guidance, wide experience and increasing educational opportunities there will be a sense of direction. The Sages declare ‘Who is a wise man? He who learns from every man, as it is written ‘I have gathered wisdom from all those who could teach me, because Your statutes were my constant thought’ (Psalms 119:99). Breadth of experience and greatness of  mind are very good as long as one has a yardstick whereby he can know what to accept and what to reject. This is given by the statutes of G-d. (Otherwise the mind can be so open that the brains drop out!) Judaism is opposed to repression. The Talmud says that ‘man will have to give an account and reckoning of everything that his eye saw from which he did not derive pleasure.’ This is not in support of hedonism; but if a person combines indulgence with moral and religious experience he derives full joy and the indulgence will not develop into misery.

The ideal personality of the Chasid, the saint, is one in whose qualities all play a part. He suppresses neither spiritual nor material faculties but instead harmonizes them all for the purpose of fulfilling G-d’s commandments. This will lead to the love of G-d, which often takes precedence over the fear of G-d (in the daily prayers ‘To love and fear Your Name’). Educationally the do’s should take precedence over the don’ts. The Torah brings a spirit of harmony, integrity and wholeness to the life of man which gives him great creativity and makes all perverse and lower modes of life seem trivial and unexciting.

Judaism regards marriage as the ideal state, naming it sanctification (Kiddushin) and sublimity (Nisuin). It introduces the balance between a strong physical and a strong platonic relationship. This is done through the laws of separation (Nidah), producing a rhythm of renewal of the honeymoon which creates a spirit of security for the children, surrounding them with an atmosphere of harmony, solidity, stability and love. The frittering away of sexuality which is taught by the new morality has an adverse effect upon culture (See Unsworth on ‘Sex and Culture’). Judaism believes in the principle of chastity for the sake of charity. Physical energies can also be sublimated for higher cultural and religious purposes. Judaism accepts the functional attitude towards society. Husband and wife have their specific roles to fulfil in life, different from each other. Parents and children can set up a harmonious unit of the family if they play out their specific roles. Children must show honor to their parents. Parents, on the other hand, must show understanding towards their children and have duties towards them, material and spiritual: ‘You should teach Torah to your children.’ (Deuteronomy 6:7). Then there is no fear of a generation gap, as there is constant communication concerning fundamental issues of life.

The precept of the fringes (Numbers 15:37-40) on the garment’s four corners, teaches that in all directions of the globe the Jew should develop a universal image of holiness. The knots on the fringes remind one to exercise a rneasure of self-control, but two-thirds of the threads are left open to show that self-control produces a double measure of creativity and freedom. ‘You should not go astray after your eyes and your heart’ - a person should not become confused and fragmentized, frittering away his energies, just following the whims and fancies of his heart and eyes which view things externally and materially. ‘You should be holy,’ dedicating your life in a holistic and constructive manner to G-d and remove yourself from all forms of moral chaos. Judaism teaches not self-denial but self-discipline, for the purpose of self-fulfilment.