The Modern Jew's Path to God:
Inviting the Great Encounter
Any Jewish religious thinking that would do justice to both its Jewish sources and to the spiritual and intellectual condition of modern man will have to begin with the recognition that Judaism is not a system of ideas, but a form of religious existence.
Judaism has always been the living encounter of Israel with the God of Israel. The ideas arising in the course of this encounter were and are to be understood as by-products. Modem religious liberalism gravely distorted Judaism when it tried to transform it into a system of ideas, and its prophets into philosophers. Still worse are those distortions common in our day which see in Judaism little more than a useful tool for social and psychological adjustment. None of these “re interpretations” of Judaism in the 19th and 20th centuries is able to provide a religious reason why a Jew should continue to be a Jew—why Judaism ought to survive.
If Judaism is to endure we must understand the meaning and be prepared to vouch for the validity of this God-man encounter. Classical Jewish theology gave its own interpretation and justification, but, for better or worse, this account contains elements unacceptable to modern man and the modern Jew.
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