70.02 Moral Intelligibility and Absoluteness (pps.45-47)

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exclusion of “one’s personal situation,” see the discussion of “bifurcation” in the appendix.) Schulweis notes:

God wishes man to understand Him morally so that he can emulate Him morally. God informs Abraham of His plans for Sodom and Gomorrah, “for I have known him to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, and they may keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice” (Genesis 18:19). Nothing vitiates the moral purpose of the covenant as much as the envelopment of God in a mist of supramoral inscrutability. It is the measure of the greatness of His personality that He is morally intelligible.

“For the Lord will do nothing, but He revealeth His counsel unto His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). For Jeremiah. God wishes to be known. To know God is no metaphysical exercise. It means to imitate God’s moral concern for the weaker vessels of society. “Did not thy father eat and drink, and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 22:15).180

Once we differentiate qualitatively between human morality and Divine morality, we enter a netherworld of theological and moral chaos. “Thus I have explained to you that the stream of reason which flows toward us from the Lord, may Me be exalted, is the bond which unites us with Him” (Maimonides).181

If reason is the “very bond which unites us,” it would follow that the moral interaction should be within reason, as well.

Woe unto them who say of evil, it is good, and of good, it is evil; that change darkness into light and light into darkness; that change bitter into sweet and sweet into bitter.
—Isaiah 5:20

It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, “Who

——————- NOTES ——————-

180 Schulweis, Evil and the Morality of God, p. 79.
Cf. ibid., p. 80.
Cf. ibid., p. 81. “The bilateral covenant signifies that there is no double standard, one for God and one for man. .. . Indeed, the qualitative sameness of the moral attributes enables man’s moral imitatio dei.

181 Maimonides, Guide 3:51.


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