500.20 PURPOSE (pps.100-103)

hard cover page 102

first line of a kabbalistic piyyut recited at the conclusion of the third Sabbath meal].

Thus, attainment of a share in the world-to-come is more in the nature of development of potential than of reward and punishment.

[In] Judaism the idea of the good is penultimate. It cannot exist without the holy. The good is the base, the holy is the summit. Man cannot be good unless he strives to be holy.

. . . within Judaism the sacred, as far as it may be a human concern at all, is not found in the realm of Being, but in that of Becoming. Man is called upon to sanctify himself; to sanctify this earthly Adam in this world. K’dusha, holiness, is sanctification. And sanctification is a process in time and not a miracle outside of time.

To be human, in the personalistic sense, is to be potentially divine. As such he is driven to live in consciousness of responsibility and challenge to realize his potential.

As a person rises in knowledge and understanding, in the study of Torah and in the cultivation of good attributes, in his intellectual and moral propensities, he marches forward toward the future. . . . By perfecting his ways and actions, personal and social, there is open to him a great light that directs him to endless progress.

. . . man dwelling as he does in two different worlds and undergoing profound inner struggles-is given the chance to rise far beyond the level of our existence and the place in which

—————— NOTES ——————-

391 Soloveitchik, Halukhic Man, p. 40.

392 Bleich, expounding on Maimonides, in With Perfect Faith, p. 5.

393 Heschel, Man’s Quest for God, p. 95.

394 Berkovits. Faith After the Holocaust, p. 59.

395 Stitskin, Eight Jewish Philosophers, p. 5.
Cf. ibid., p. 25. “. . . if the ultimate aim of man, according to Maimonides is yediat Hashem-‘knowledge of God’-this can be attained by a process of self-authentication which leads to a knowledge of God. Martin Buber likewise asserted that ‘God does not wish to be defined by us, but simply to be realized by us.’ ”

396 Bokser, Abraham Isaac Kook, p. 232.


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