800.31 Freedom and Privacy (pps.115-116)

hard cover page 115

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Let us take it as a “given” that “His ways are not our ways,” ‘His knowledge is not our knowledge,” “His wisdom is not our wisdom.” Yet our freedom is our freedom. Our privacy is our privacy. And, regardless of the attributes of God, an invasion of our freedom/privacy by another or Other or holy Other is still an infringement of our freedom/privacy. The probability that we do not comprehend the parameters of the possible intrusion only aggravates the intrusion. It does not ameliorate the intrusion.

One can make a case that privacy is an important component of liberty: that intrusions into privacy are intrusions into liberty; that intrusions into liberty ultimately lead to intrusions into privacy.

Man cannot demand both complete personal freedom with concomitant privacy, and, at the same time, a God who intervenes when peril threatens. With freedom comes risk. For the Jew this risk is doled out generously.

Thus, God’s omniscience inherently conflicts with man’s privacy needs. Man’s need for privacy is symbolized by the need of Adam and Eve for clothing subsequent to eating from the Tree of Knowledge. The concept of the Deity as all-knowing and all-watching in the here-and-now is thus somewhat anomalous to the privacy needs of post-Edenic man. The fact that


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