Can We Believe in Judaism Religiously?An Ethical Faith Is Not Enough
Rightly or wrongly, I have always thought highly of Abraham, the first Jew. It was not the condescending esteem we feel, say for an ancient Greek scientist who appreciably furthered scientific thought but whose ideas would appear naive today to any college senior. The greatness of Abraham, to my mind, surpassed any “contribution” to the “progress of ideas”: it was a greatness equally great at any time. The relationship I had thought it permissible to have to Abraham was a direct one, conceiving Abraham not as separate from us by many links in the chain of progress, but as the here-and-now guide and father of every mere Jew aspiring to be a good Jew. In taking Abraham with such live seriousness, I readily admit that I was influenced by Kierkegaard’s magnificent Fear and Trembling. But I also believed it to have the backing of Jewish tradition.
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