90.04 Philosphical Terra Incognita (pps.59-60)

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90.04 Philosophical Terra Incognita

A significant step would seem to be missing in Jewish philosophy, one which takes on the challenging but viable goal of investigating the schematics of a solution without entering the world of mysticism. This approach would seek cohesiveness without trying to fill in all the unfathomable detail. This approach would put the discussion, however daring, more in the realm of philosophy and less in the realm of mysticism.

Until this middle terrain is fleshed out, however difficult the task, the truly complete solution to theodicy will always remain just out of reach. Thus, in a sense the theodicy dilemma forces us onto this most difficult and nonstructured of terrains.

In the Jobian finale, the Divine response to Job’s remonstrations challenges Job’s comprehension of cosmic origins, and cites his lack of understanding as the reason for his inability to become reconciled with God. The Divine response, a sui generis response of poetic splendor, maintains the precise theme throughout two complete chapters, commencing as follows:

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:

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211 See Encyclopaedia Judaica, s.v. “Kabbalah,” and Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, both by Gershom Scholem. The valid question remains whether the voluminous extent, depth, obscure complexity, and mystical imagery, which they explored, dissected, and pro- pounded, was not quite beyond “mortal competence,” however spiritualized the writers. This is probably one of the reasons that the fate of kabbalistic philosophy, notwithstanding its preeminence at one time, is to be relegated to the very borderline of Jewish doctrine.


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