600.03 Qualifications and Limitations— Within Freedom (pps.108-109)

hard cover page 109

Judaism glorifies freedom,432 while at the same time Halachah charts man’s mundane freedom for ultimate purpose.

Some rabbinic authorities have expressed a fear of broad freedoms, a fear that too many adherents would be lost. Classically the fear was that “even one rejecting generation could terminate the holy tradition of forty generations.” However, the cure is worse than the threat of the disease. The Jew pays a price for his freedom, but on the whole will be stronger for it. The Jew emerges from the crucible of freedom physically battered and sometimes almost annihilated. But the Jew is not unaware of the imperatives and cruciality of freedom. Both major covenants were entered into from bases of freedom. Man is attracted to, and cherishes, a freedom-based religion.433

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432 See Agus, The Evolution of Jewish Thought, p. 42.

433 See Bokser, Abraham Isaac Kook, p. 21, citing Olal Rayah (Jerusalem: Mosad Harav Kook and Agudah Lohotzoat Sifre Harayah Kook, 1949), vol. 2, pp. 262 f. “The love for freedom is forged in part in the crucible of suffering under servitude.”

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