The Orientation of Past Time©
Dr. Zadok Krouz, PhD, DD, DHL, CGT, מאת: ד"ר צדוק כרוס
Beyond all our knowledge rests God. But prior to beginning what we do not know, you are handed for perusal… for your comfort… Good himself
Franz Rosenzweig, Sechzig Hymnen 184
The article will discuss the belief aspect of the meeting. His faith supports and reinforces the meeting. Its foundation is in the knowing objectivity of the past, and it is manifested as experiential, subjective "orientation" of the present. This link, between the factual past and the believing present, is created through the certainty that the God man loves in truly god, and this certainty's source is in the soul: "For it is the soul and not the intellect that feels God."
Only after the prior conditions for the meeting are fulfilled does revelation occur.
The meeting that is revelation which Rosenzweig speaks about is not the revelation on Mount Sinai; rather, it is the meeting between God and man. An example of this meeting is described in the memorandum of Pascal. This conclusion is reached by considering the name and content of the chapter in Book Two of Star—“The Ever-Renewed Birth of the Soul,” which describes the discovery of God in the soul of man, that is the meeting of the absolute and the soul of the lover. Hereafter, “the meeting” refers to the personal revelation of God to man.
The history of the Orientation
The meeting which Rosenzweig describes is, in effect, “orientation” [“Revelation is orientation” (Naharayim 206], an orientation in creation in a mirror of discovery or, in other words, that which implements the meeting (revelation). For example, the power of speech of God to man during the creation of the world ensues, in respect of man, in the present by means of the renewed image of the revelation The meeting is the demonstration of the creation of the past: “That which sounded in advance out of that all-embracing, lonely, monologic ‘let us’ of God’s at the creation of man reaches its fulfillment in the I and Thou of the imperative of revelation” (Star 217). A second demonstration is the initial disclosure of time past. The creation made in revelation is the creation of revelation. In truth, this duality in the concept of the meeting is encompassed within the essence of the definition of this concept: the meeting means that God discloses Himself in the meeting with man, objective and concrete; rather than subjective and experiential. Moreover, Rosenzweig wants to establish the historical aspect of the meeting, the historical aspect being the dependence of the experience on what was beyond it, i.e., the dependence of the present on the past.
However, Rosenzweig’s perception is not the central point of a singular, historical revelation; his commentary does not rest on the Ten Commandments but on the Song of Songs. The meeting is not an occurrence that has taken place previously, disconnected and separated from us. The meeting returns and repeats; it is the property of each and every person; indeed, it is a property founded in miracle and not on the street. Nevertheless, the time of revelation is not historical, objective time, but rather experiential, subjective time (Star 195-196, 214-215, 232-235)
Rosenzweig is able to establish these two aspects of the meeting. The present experience confirms the revelation of the past and repeats it. However, it is clear that the lines which are conspicuous here, the confirmation and the return, testify to the entry of the subjective aspect into the meeting. The meeting commenced sometime in the past, but it continues and proceeds. Its reality is not in the past, its reality is the reality of the present.
Only when the conditions were fulfilled, conditions which realized the experiential and current nature of the meeting, can a past be constructed, which leads, of necessity, to a meeting. The meeting is an objective attempt based on the creation of the past, and “revelation is providentially ‘foreseen’ in creation—revelation in its entire contents, thus including also redemption” (Star 146). Even Kant, in his Critique of Pure Reason, admits, correctly, that “the demonstration (of this creation) will be always mentioned respectfully. It is the oldest, clearest and most appropriate for simple human intellect… that is, it will not alone despair, but it will be worthless also if we shall want to diminish the loftiness of this demonstration.” “truth is always that which has been, whether as ‘a priori’, or ‘towering in ancient sacred might’ with Plato, or as an object of ‘experience’” (Star 141). Thus, one’s observation of reality is determined by means of an objective view of the past. The accepted perception is derived from the assumption that the link between God and man is a pre-revelation; it is requisite to a perceived creation, in the accepted conception, as a willful act. Revelation of belief added this form of connection, and explained the obligations imposed upon man, whose origin is in creation. In the conventional conception God proclaims his existence, and this existence is the root of the particulars of the obligations, which are the contents of revelation. Rosenzweig altered the conventional conception by making revelation of belief a basic law of the relationship (see the reference in the first subtitle of chapter three), and not a superstructure founded on the earlier relationship, the relationship of creation. Therefore, an expression of revelation appropriate to the covenant between God and man is required. He made the revelation into a covenant (“I am yours,” “you are mine” (Star 214)) and an aspiration to devotion, not a dogmatic content.
In Naharayim, the meeting is defined as orientation, a new direction which alters totally the image of reality but does not replace it with another. The meeting is an orientation which results not from exemplary cognition, which compiles with the fundamental metaphysical demands, and is not a supernatural phenomenon crossing the world’s boundaries and order and which reveals a new network of cosmic existence; rather, it is a new direction, which grants, via a divine path, creation, revelation, redemption, direction and meaning that would have remained withered without it, governed and stricken by so-called “comprehensive” worldly conceptions (206).
This new direction is rooted in time past. Therefore, the dual formulation of God’s response is understood: “I called you by name, you are mine,” and not by the simple formulation of “you are mine.” In the first, God raises the past, the language of the creation of the world in order that the present will be seen as a living language in interaction (Star 194).
The monologue of the past becomes a dialogue between God and man, “as a second revelation” or “as a second meeting.” The first meeting testifies to God as the present and existing creator. The second meeting brings life to this objective knowledge about the most personal, dynamic and real experience that man could ever feel in his life. The past simply appears in the light of the present as a discovery of the second meeting. The present is not only a counting of the singular, internal, current experience, but rather is also the present in the world. This world which was closed opens momentarily, meaning “that it may be none other than the opening of something locked” (Star 194). It is a world in which God is present, and the soul is made part of the world--and a part, then, of God.
Therefore, the meeting is not only characterized by the present. It is a demonstration of a new reality in the looking-glass of the past. Rosenzweig opposed Schelling’s revelation theory, in which revelation is understood as a personal experience of the Almighty, “pure” revelation, independent of a factual basis. Rosenzweig emphasizes the new current status of the meeting. The content of the meeting is the love of the heart as fateful power, lacking a past, emerging fro mthe moment and from it alone. The entire meeting, having been concluded, knows its past as a part of the world of the past; the presence of the meeting, then, achieves a significant standing in the world.
The meeting is living, actual and existing testimony to the premeeting which occurred in the third revelation (of the meeting) ‘I and Thou’, is language from the beginning, which, being spoken, makes man human” (Star 145, 195). All that which is founded on the past is not only internal in the present, but appears to the eye in the effulgence of the moment; “…a revelation which is nothing more than revelation” (Star 194). The fact that a dialogue is possible between different periods of the world (past and present) is the great marvel of our existence, and it is not only the basis of the reality of the meeting, but the essence of the meeting (Briefe 712).
The demonstration of a new reality or orientation does not mean that something foreign entered the world, rather the meeting of the revelation is creation in the looking-glass of discovery. The meeting is made concrete in the meeting of the revelation, “which does not ‘posit’ anything, which creates nothing from within itself in the void” (Star 194). Though it exists from the beginning in “I called you by name,” the call exists entirely, created wholly, “for only by the revelation of the meeting in the present does it awaken to life (in the language of ‘I and Thou’) also as a representative of one species of word” (the “I and Thou” of the actual dialogue) (Star 207).
The idea that revelation is a demonstration of creation, and that creation appears in the power of this revelatory meeting was already emphasized by Rabbi Yehuda Halevi in the Kuzari; the difference is the manner in which the vision is explained. According to Yehuda Halevi, the vision is public (articles 4 and 14), whereas Rosenzweig considers it individual.
Thus, nothing in the revelatory meeting is new, there is no cosmic intervention in creation, but it is rather observation and occurrence materializing together. It is wholly sign, wholly the process of making visible and audible the providence which had been concealed originally in the speechless night of creation, wholly revelation.
On the objective implements of creation Rosenzweig bases the source for explanation and understanding the new orientation, faith. We rely on sight and hearing, our senses, when describing God as creator and present, who creates the world with his great mercy. “Were it not that I saw it with my eyes- I would not have believed” (Psikta Rabati, 32). There is a God, He is present and is creator. I saw a wonderful world existing before me in his great kindness. “Because of God’s kindness, the world exists” (Rashi, Pirkei Avot, ch 1:2). Orientation causes man to know first of all that creation is the description of God as the most objective presence of the past. And the new orientation is a novel in its subjectivity constructed on the objectivity of the past.
The beginning of faith orientation is in creation. The history of creation and its annals- tradition- are the beginning of belief as “a completely historical belief” (Star 134), “which belief remained historically anchored.” In the orientation of the meeting there is a logical, factual element which sees throughout creation a description of God as present in the purely objective past. Creation logically orients man that the God who is present or exists is God the creator. The fact is based on the relationship between the Almighty and the world, and is a logical relationship of the Creator to the created. Only from logic do we learn that God is present, from which logic we know also about Him and relate to Him. This relationship is descriptive knowledge is based on the absolute idea of a present God without any addition of retroactive realization. This knowledge is testimony to the elemental orientation of belief, of relationship, between God and the world alone. This knowledge served as a fundamental testimony to the teleological perception of Rosenzweig to the point of dependence of this declaration of the existence of God-- “if you are my witnesses, I am God.” On the verse from Isa. 43:10, 11 “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord.. I Even I, am the Lord,” he quotes the Sages: “when you are my witnesses, then I am God, and when you are not witnesses, it is as if I am not God” (Star 107).This is living testimony of the objectivity of creation, testimony that God creates that which is etched in man’s consciousness.
Historically, we know of a living God, but one living, within His inner domain, and we also know of Living Man, whose life occurs within his domain of human reality. God is yet closed as an elemental fact, everything happening to him occurs only from him to him in the image of creation as description present and existing.
In this elemental knowledge is woven the information for the orientation of belief in the meeting in the present. Orientation exists in the meeting of dialogue from the beginning since the word “is from the beginning and already bears in its womb every speaker who will one day affect the miracle of renewing it” (Star 148, 188). “…[M]an became man when he first spoke” (Star 179; also 147). In fact, with “‘let us’ for the first time the magic circle of objectivity is breached” (Star 187).
In God’s call “Where are you?”, God asks “you” (Star 207). When his name is called, man responds “Here I am” (Star 208). Orientation is one of history, and belief results from this history: “…only in this its historicity… does experienced belief come to rest in this certainty of having been long ago summoned, by name, to belief” (Star 215).
The historical presence of the stories of the Bible is the most trustful proof of belief in the experience of the meeting (Star 134). Conscious of this special connection between the knowing “past” and the believing “present” may be seen as one of the fundamentals of the theology of the meeting according to Rosenzweig. This connection is expressed in footnotes to Yehuda Halevi: “Beyond all our knowledge rests God. But prior to beginning what we do not know, you are handed for your perusal…for your comfort…God himself.” (Sechzig Hymnen 184). The knowing past is not invalidated. Though its period is limited by belief, it remains included within it and changes the theology to rationalistic theology, though in a totally different meaning from the rationalistic theology which preceded Kant. This note is presented as the opinion of Else Freund: “[Belief itself] is belief which emphasizes the ratio as creation, and by merging creation, belief erects rationalistic theology.” Fulfillment of the meeting is “tradition” itself. Belief, as explained and understood by the new orientation, remains historically anchored- the individual becomes a new believer, but a new belief does not emerge. Therefore, to narrow the path of this belief, enlightenment based on history rather than natural science is necessary.
Rosenzweig sees in history, for example, the historical and experiential facts—the exodus from Egypt and Mt. Sinai-- which always comprise the source, from which results all of our knowledge of the Creator.
For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great is, or hath been heard like it?
Did people ever hear from the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?
Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war an by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?
Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightiest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him. (Deut. 4:32-35)
The emphasis does not allow room for error. The knowledge of God in the meeting with man is founded on the national experience of Israel and on the word of time past, that emerges “from the stone of creation” (Star 179). The orientation of belief is “wholly anchored in history” (Star 134). This history, which is wholly past is not revealed but is a mirror of light of the present: “But the past only becomes visible to revelation when and as revelation shines into it with the light of the present” (Star 217).
By this act, the soul can see and hear the past, which erupts from within the existential light of the present. Consciousness of the past is the informative background to the expression of belief. This consciousness contains experiences, awareness, traditions, feelings and thoughts. This consciousness has within it the cognitive sense of knowledge and discernment and confirmation by the senses through which man perceives and understands the world. This is cognition de facto- cognition in action – and even though it is not perceived directly and initially by sight and hearing, smell, touch and taste, there is a pure, real cognitive awareness as if man stands watching the fire and hearing the sounds of Mt. Sinai and the voice of God in the Garden of Eden. It is like living history: the attempt to sacrifice Isaac, Mt. Sinai, etc. continue and are renewed each moment in the soul of Religious Man.
Rosenzweig gave a new orientation to that of time past without changing tis factuality. “Realization of belief is in tradition” (Star 134). That is to say, by not relying on man’s temporary ability to attain verification via research, Abraham is promised that the truth will be preserved by his offspring who will strengthen this belief and transmit it onwards to their children.
Only in this backward glance does the past prove to be the base and prediction of the present experience, domiciled in the I… that which sounded in advance out of the all-embracing, lonely, monologic ‘let us’ of God’s at the creation of man reaches its fulfillment in the I and Thou of the imperative of revelation. (Star 217)
Rosezweig considers the meeting a miracle. Being that the meeting is an orientation of belief, “… miracle is really the favorite child of belief” (Star 131). The miracle of the meeting is nothing other than revelation (encounter) of that which is set aside and hidden, creation in the mirror of revelation, the fetus in the womb of mother belief, just as the meeting expresses that which was stored in creation. It is revelation in its primary sense, such that the miracle is only the fact that what happens, happens; the occurrence is understood as miracle. The essence of the miracle of the meeting is that it took place at all, that the words did not remain encompassed and internalized within themselves. The movement to time and occurrence is the miracle of the meeting.
The meeting is a miracle in the natural sense. There is an attempt to sunder the supernatural character by giving a rational explanation to an occurrence perceived to be a miracle. Belief in the miracle of the meeting is that which makes the event, or what is said of it, miraculous. Every event is understood from the point of view of man, it is a sign of occurrence in nature of time past and prophesies the future. The miracle of the meeting is ready, together with everything else that was created, from the six days of creation until the day it will emerge. The world, of necessity, obeys natural laws.
In subjective observation of the meeting there is objective implication vis-à-vis the believing observer.
The miracle had to be proven… the circumstantial evidence for the miracle can be supplied by its success; but this success proves the miracle only for those for whom it is a ‘portent’, that is, for those who as eye-witnesses attended the miracle during the entire course of its occurrence… in taking their sworn testimony, their personal credibility will be decisive, as well as the estimate of their capacity for observation…(Star 133-134)
Therefore, each event can be a miracle from the perception of one man, a believer, and a natural occurrence in the eyes of another, a non-believer. The non-believer also believes in the occurrence; he admits its existence, but he believes in the natural characterization of the said event. The miracle is the historical occurrence of the past that is revealed and occurs in the meeting in the present. “…In the glow of the experienced miracle of revelation, a past that prepares and foresees this miracle becomes visible” (Star 214). Indeed, the present confirms the miracle of the past. The miracle of the meeting is the possession of man by means of which he can hear the voice of God speaking to him. This is the orientation of that of time past.
Orientation Resulting from the Spanning of Bridges
The orientation of that of time past does not alter these objective elements and objective remnants without changes and additions, but there is a new orientation which is a recapitulation of a communicative act between the elements of God, man and the world. The communication between God and man which bursts forth on the personal experience and engenders the revelation of God is the focus and actual essence of the belief orientation of Rosenzweig. Without a bridge between God and man, God would remain hidden and introverted like an idol, and man would live within his four paces in loneliness and fear. The entire matter of belief is only in the relationship of traversing budges, and in these actions God must act in favor of man. This is experiential, personal, subjective energy.
The confession of belief is liberated from man's communication with God. Bridging bridges brings man to see meaning and understanding in the meeting with God. That is, only by the 'bridging' method can Rosenzweig request a meeting with God as a living God which permits a true dialogue with man. He is not willing to look upon God abstractly. Rosenzweig must now take an anthropomorphic approach' " ...only by their relationship to creation, are revelation and redemption opened to them" (Naharayim 230), " …and God can be seen only in relation to other things…" (Star 168)
Which man stands at the most exalted spiritual level - the man believing in what he sees de facto, mediating his senses and mental conclusions resulting from concrete experience, or the man who dares to go beyond the domain of the concrete and looks to a broader horizon and makes a sort of leap toward that which has disappeared, a man not satisfied with restricted earthy vision? Clearly, the latter man is the more exalted spiritually and humanly. This man paves for himself the path to a direct meeting with God:
The thing has no stability as long as it stands alone. It is certain of its individuality only in the multiplicity of the things. It can only be displayed in connection with other things. Its definiteness is a space-time relationship to other things in such a connection. Even as something defined, the thing has no essence of its own; it is not something in itself but only in its relationships. (Star 168)
The bridging method prepares the religious believer to experiment and strengthen his position in the rationalistic world of the past and the irrationalistic world of the present. He bridges the two worlds and he is likely also to open the gate of the irrational world to those rationalists who want to enter and to supply the irrationalist part of their soul with satisfaction that they did not find in their rationalist structure. Ha'Meiri explains Eccles 9:18: “[W]itnessing God believed makes the fool wise." That is, witnessing of God is believed, should be believed without examination and investigation, but after belief one would study the matter, which will bring perfection… from the aspect of study unattainable by opponents…" Ha'Meiri asserts that "there are no examinations and investigations," which assertion supports the a- rationalistic approach of Rosenzweig.
The new thinker "tells us how and when the distant God will approach (in the meeting), and how and when the nearby God will become distant .." (Naharayim 228). Only with the God-man relationship does the substance of the meeting, in which it alone we are experienced, occurs, and bridges to God are made; all our attempts are attempts at bridge-building. God himself, when we come to know him, hides; man, that is, our essence, confines himself, and the world is made an apparent enigma. Only in their relationship, creation, revelation, redemption, is a resolution found.
The meeting is a product of the relationship between God-man and everything the soul learns results from this relational act. And just as the soul abandons the body and has no existence in the framework of earthly life, so too belief, broken off from the intellect, has no existence in the societal, historical world in which revelation is fulfilled. Therefore, the relationship comes as power of reality to effectuate the meeting. “It is certain of its individuality only in the multiplicity of the things it is not something in itself but only in its relationships" (Star 168). The relationship gives eyes to see and hands to feel as primary conditions for the meeting attempt. For it is the nature of the attempt to weave relationships between the elements, relationships whose essence is demonstrated in the garb of man. The relationship of man-God teaches us that the origin of all genius lies in God's presence and His merciful creation with love. In the present the bridge between God and man allows man to understand his meeting with God as a meeting full of life, love and certainty. The bridging only brings forth that which is present to be revealed, as from the potential to the kinetic.
Only "the attempts at bridge-making" (Naharayim 230) indicates active content, a function of occurrence, and not a merciful act of God. This is the foundation of the belief orientation in the meeting: its content, dynamic, is circulated to the elements, man, world and God, and gives them the power of occurrence. Bridging indicates action and not intensive study. The bridging does not clarify how to construe but rather clarifies the loftiness of the existing elements in the prior given domain of experience. The raising of the elements moves by stretching bridges between the elements, and belief has the function of perceiving the matters one after the other and in conjunction one with the other. Such a perception leads to religious consciousness, in which is found the singularity and merit of the belief orientation. Language is the communication model; language serves as a model to orientation of time past - belief.
Language is the concrete expression of the meeting, not because of the individual contents of belief or the foundations of belief represented by it, but rather because language itself is the model of belief. Just as the miracle "is really the favorite child of belief” (Star 131), so, too, does language bear within it the stamp of that marvelous event, the dialogue between man and God. Language is an organic part of the meeting , the first portrait of the face of revelation, and thus the contention that language is an organ of the meeting is strengthened.
But there is a distinction between the language of logic and the language of the meeting. The logos (the intellectual element m the rational world) of which we were acquainted in western philosophy is "silent" in its essence. "To think means to think for no-man and to speak to no-man" (Naharayim 231). Therefore, the thought is not conversation; it is, at best, the elements of the concealed of the conversation. Contrarily, "language is truly God's gift to mankind although it is the common property of mankind, in which each man has his particular share, and finally, it is the seal of humanity in man" (Star 206).
The principal intention of Rosenzweig in stating these words is that one would not see in religious language a tool or instrument which permits the expression of the principles of belief which human consciousness best contemplates in abstract terms, but language is the original symbolism of the reality of belief. For "it is difficult to believe in a path, in that we look always at those specific points which we actually live...language reveals to us from within the minuscule point of the miraculous, which is felt in our experience, the complete path of our belief” (Star 148).
There is no difference between mythic language and religious language par excellence; language does not recognize the basic duality between a foundation of "external," objective objects and an internal, subjective foundation. In language there is a total comparison between the manner in which it is heard and the manner in which it is spoken.
Man cannot demand mental sense from language, but language demands spiritual content from man from the beginning of his creation and experience. Words of language are a gift of God to mankind, a sort of "garden which surrounded man from the beginning, and he does not know from where he came to it" ("The Existential" 8). Words are not the creation of man, for man is man in that he already speaks. It is impossible to describe man's consciousness without language. One must agree that the elements of language were not solved by man's consciousness. This dovetailing of language and meeting is the symbol of the concealed clement which is revealed at the meeting: "The human word is a symbol; with every moment it is the beginning and because it already bears in its womb every speaker who will one day effect the miracle of renewing it. But the divine word is more than symbol: it is revelation only because it is at the same time the word of creation (the concealed element of God.)" (Star 148).
The Power of the Orientation
Traversing the bridges results from the feeling of certainty of the occurrence of the meeting. Man dares to jump to God only from the feeling that God will respond. This is the heartfelt desire of the believer, a feeling of trust, truth and honesty. Only with the power of certainty does he have the courage and audacity to remove the shame of the past sin, shame which prevented him from being happy in the bosom of his lover and totally devoted to him. Only at the moment his certainty emerges with the favor of God's love can man come to the meeting with God; only then can he confess. The heart and soul in man give the great and most certain hope that the favor of love will emerge and flood the waiting soul.
Without the hope of this certainty, he would not confess at all. With assured power, the soul fulfills what was done prudently in the past in the mirror of the actual and most real meeting. The certain hope that the favor of his love will emerge raises in the heart of the soul the certainty that God will listen to his response, that he will feel his love when meeting him. "However now (that the soul admits 'I am yours') he must admit ('you are mine')… Experienced belief only comes to rest in this certainty of having been long ago summoned, by name, to belief” (Star 214-215).
With the power of certainty man communicates with God, and with this communication and only it, God becomes not only a 'He exists,' a product of the knowledge of creation, but even belongs to man individually and forever, as a lover in the sense of 'I am yours.' In being loved, I know him as a lover. God, my love, is truly God and even more than that. In God's response 'You are mine,' it is as if the soul senses that he drew a protective circle about its steps, liberating it for prayer. The prayer is the conclusion of the effluence of total certainty in the divinity: "Prayer is the last thing achieved in revelation. It is an overflow of the highest and most perfect trust of the soul" (Star 215). This is the certainty based on the verity of the divinity, that it is not only the man who loves but is even "veritable man" for” the seal of the Almighty is verity." "It is impossible to arrive at belief orientation other than by truth" (Nahman 166).
Rosenzweig maintains that God loves the soul, which is deficient if it does not determine that He is God and the truth, that "He is the God of truth." It is written in the Zohar 3: "There can be no faith without truth." The truth, rooted in internal certainty, provides living substance in man's meeting with him, not as a mere beloved but with a certain essence: "veritable man." "Just so the soul becomes certain in its belovedness that the God who loves it is truly God, is the true God" (Star 213).
Rosenzweig emphasizes the certainty in stages: First, man is learned in objective knowledge. With this knowledge, his intellect indicates that God can be described as present. For only one defective in his senses will not see the living evidence surrounding him of a thriving, marvelous world which has a creator. This stage is summarized by Rosenzweig as "positive history" (Star 215).
The second stage to the certainty is the self-experience. After the soul attained happiness by admitting its sin as current sin, only then does the soul achieve complete certainty which will follow directly the happiness of knowing it is beloved. And with this certainty, the soul is calmed, knowing that evil will not come to it.
The soul can roam the world with eyes open and without dreaming. Now and forever it will remain in God's proximity... Now it knows: it need but stretch out its right hand in order to feel God's right hand coming to meet it. (Star 215)
Its belief comes to rest in the divine proximity of unconditional trust, with whose strength God endowed it....
The completely pacified belief, the soul's acquiescence in God's “Thou art mine," the peace which it has found in his eyes - these remain, after all, the last thing which belongs entirely to the realm of revelation. The dialogue of love ends here. (Star 216)
However, belief about which Rosenzweig speaks in regard to the meeting with God is not a frozen, Jewish theological concept, a product of the past, but its purpose is pure, human action which is manifested in a certain manner of conduct and stands at a different level than belief which affects the relationship between man and his fellow man. We live always in the light of belief and in mutual contact with others daily. Generally, we trust our fellow man and act pursuant to this trust. Human existence, according to Rosenzweig, is in belief orientation, the belief of active man, of man who turns to God from whom he receives, as well as to his world to which he gives. The matter is explained by the reliance on God and the overwhelming security in him and the way of life which results therefrom. This meeting belief bond draws a link of belief to the world, to all mankind, and is the means by which he becomes human. Now one can say: the veritable existence of man in his perfection is the existence of belief orientation. The man who has great belief in God's justice is himself a just man. The man who completely trusts God's righteousness will also be righteous. And man who meets God is the man who in the end meets his own essence, the verity of his soul. So: "It is not God that need cleanse it of its sin. Rather it cleanses itself in the presence of his love...This certainty comes to it, not from God's mouth, but from its own" (Star 212). "God himself, when we come to know him, man's essence hides... " (Naharayim 230).
This strong bond between the conduct of man and his belief is manifested in the Hebrew root 'aman' (aleph mem ,nun, from which arc derived faith and training. The man of belief is also a man of training, and only a man of training can be considered a man of belief. The man who lives in belief orientation rises to the level of a free man. "In the materialization of the revelation everything becomes free… " (Star 220). He does not live according to his intellect and its necessities. The belief orientation in the meeting liberates man from the burden of determinism. Man becomes complete man. "The purpose of our philosophizing is not to become philosophers, but men. Therefore, our philosophizing must acquire the dimension of humanity" (Rosenzweig, Briefe 718). Rosenzweig focused belief orientation in man himself, in his experience. The enormous belief in God makes him a man in training, and the Almighty, as it were, trusts in him, and he trusts in the Almighty. Abraham is a classic example of such a man, and of him was said: "And foundest his heart faithful before thee..." (Nehem. 9:8). One who does not have a God is not one who does not believe in God, but is the one who has no faith. He belongs to the category of those of whom it is said: "children in whom there is no faith" (Deut. 32:20). For "the just shall live by their faith," in the words of the prophet Habakkuk (Hab 2:4). Belief, which comes from the heart, leads one to faithfulness, which results from an act of the intellect. "Thus the attribute of faithfulness endows the soul with the strength to live permanently in the love of God" (Star 203). If we continue with this realistic line of thought, we will of necessity conclude that the existence of the meeting ultimately implies the idea of the existence of God, humanity, which is explained below. The term "personality," is seen by Rosenzweig as a word which expresses the form of the most elevated existence which he knows. When Rosenzweig speaks about God as a living personality, his intention is that He is not mere strength He is not strength or law alone. At the moment that we take from God the desire, purpose and personal attributes of lover, worrier etc. which comprise personality. He becomes a god pre-meeting who has ears and will not hear and has eyes and will not see. Thus, religious philosophy has no meaning without the assumption of a "human" God and the spiritual world has no meaning without the recognition of the existence of personality behind the framework.
Rosenzweig now must use an anthropomorphic approach. Since the revelation with God from man's side is a fact, a fact based on belief, man can receive this revealed God only by his own means, which are anthropomorphic, and not by means of the intellect. "We can see, hear, speak, scorn and love only because God sees, hears, speaks, scorns and loves" (Naharayim 35). Attributes of action vitalize the personal experience about substantial, existing truth. The anthropomorphism gives also to God in the meeting, in addition to his attribute 'present,' the description 'action' and makes the meeting with him dynamic. With this communicative certainty, puzzles arc solved; the bond is vital and communal.
Rosenzweig justifies the use of anthropomorphisms for the faith experience. "Man created for himself God in Ins image" (Naharayim 35. 37). Nevertheless, we cannot say that God has eves, ears, mouth, etc., and not because He deserves less respect in seeing, hearing, speaking, smelling, but rather because there is a lowering of honor in the phrase "he has." We do not know what God is or what He has. Everyone who wants to know this attempts to describe Him, to restrict Him. Rather, man must trust completely in God's boundless strength, which is encompassed always within man's "corporeality" and "spirituality." In the experience of belief orientation one may see God as personality only so far as the living bond in which he shows himself as personality. For the experience is not in some thing but in the meeting. "Every place there is something to see, God's eye sees it; man reads - God lends an ear; man listens, man shuts his ears - there are those to whom bursts forth the voice from the mouth of God, his hand extended for assistance, the hand of God will grasp" (Naharayim 37). None of this compares God to any being or form, but comes "to trust boundlessly - his strength to meet with our corporeality and our spirituality always, with the corporeality and spirituality of each created being at all times; to meet with body and soul, with the image of the body and the image of the soul" (Naharayim 37). Without this effort of trust, "to believe that the experiences of God in which man participated in reality, comes to him from God in reality and directly" (Naharayim 38), monotheism is harmed, for alongside God, all of whom is essence and who is inanimate, religious consciousness demands that God will be closer to man.
Rosenzweig finds in biblical thought the means of a certain, human manifestation of the meeting. The attributes of action vitalize the belief experience of the meeting as substantial, existing truth. The meeting is entire and substantial, "the fulfillment of the promise made in creation" (Star 146). The certain, objective events come only at the revelation in the meeting. And knowledge of the past provides belief its momentariness. It sees the meeting in the mighty factuality of a historic event, and this is the solid, objective element of belief orientation. The opposite is not, then, between belief and fact, but rather they are two domains. One cannot prove a thing about the other, but it can support the other. With this certainty, his belief comes to rest in the language from Genesis "you are mine" (Star 216). The history of Genesis taught logically that the entire creation is certain attribute of God as present and unimpeachable pure object. And from this objective consciousness it dares with all the certainty of the soul to come "from acknowledging the past and includes acknowledgment of the present, and his doubts are removed… certain it is of the response that will come such that it does not need to hear it… certain as if God were whispering in its ear… 'I forgive'…, at the moment it dared to confess it was certain of his love" (Star 212). "...And it emerges into complete and confident submission… that he whom the soul experiences in its love really lives, that he is not merely illusion and self-delusion of the beloved soul" (Star 213). Only in this certainty of the present in time past is it called truly by the name of belief orientation, and experiential belief finds its rest. Rosenzweig in effect answers the question that Moses posed to God: "And Moses said unto God. Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" (Exod. 3:11). In this verse, Moses asks if it is possible to use a conception based entirely on the past in order to execute with its assistance undertakings in the present and future.
Rosenzweig, by the strength of certainty in his heart, does not need to prove the existence of God in the meeting with man, since he assumes the existence of God, as he assumes the existence of man and the world. He relates, with total realism -- philosophers would say with naive realism -- to the existence of God in the act of meeting. If we use Mt Sinai as an example of the certain realism of Rosenzweig, his intention becomes clear.
The miracle of Mt. Sinai is not only that God spoke - objective fact - but that he opened the ears of the children of Israel, and they heard God speak to them. The children of Israel not only heard a voice, but they were certain they were standing before God and that the voice was the living voice of God speaking to them, and not various thunderous sounds. We determined above that the People of Israel heard God speak to them, from which we understand that the revelation then was inherited by the entire people. Clarification of this point is necessary because it contradicts Maimonides' claim that prophecy requires a natural aptitude and specific preparation, without which it cannot occur. Maimonides explains (The Guide 2:32) that at Mt. Sinai, too, there were various degrees of attainment and perception of the revelation. The entire people only heard the voice of God, that is, the mere, simple voice without the articulation of the letters, and Moses passed on to them the words stated by the voice and explained their content. Another explanation of Maimonides is that those present in fact understood the meaning from the mere voice, but only the meaning of the initial two commandments since these two commandments were capable of being deduced (see, Abarbanel, who is perplexed by the explanations presented by Maimonides in part two of chapter 32 of The Guide, which contains many unclear points). The revelation of Cod to man at the meeting by its nature was not designated to supply neither metaphysical knowledge nor empirical information, but it directly embothes the certainty: "It is certain..." "complete and confident submission." "... truly lives." "... a visible reality..."; "Experienced belief only comes to rest in this certainty of having been long ago summoned, by name, to belief (Star 212, 213, 215). The meeting is not the source of some experimental information whose element is sunk in the experimental-scientific cognition, but it is certainty which provides reality with a firmness which no cognitive action can provide it. Philosophy will reach, at the most, contingent knowledge, whereas the belief of the encounter will lead man to the desired certainty - the soul and purpose of the religious philosophy of Rosenzweig and, it may be said, of the framework of his life itself. Glatzer describes the disease and terrible sufferings which Rosenzweig bore, though they did not break hiss mighty spirit. The certainty of belief of his philosophy maintained him. Notwithstanding his bodily paralysis, he lived an active life, marked by a wealth of spiritual creation. Rosenzweig wrote many essays, to enlighten and clarify, the logic of the fundamental philosophies of Star of Redemption, wrote a broadly encompassing introduction of the Jewish writings of Hermann Cohen, filled with biblical commentaries, participated in the writing of the entry 'Bible' for the Jewish Encyclopedia in German, translated the poems of Yehuda Halevi from Hebrew to German and added annotations, and devoted himself, together with his friend, Martin Buber, to translating the Biblical text. Confined to a chair and his 'four handbreadths.' Rosenzweig encircled the world and that within it, manuscripts laden with his glance, and continued to see his creative works while his wife 'read' his words from his moving lips and eyes (His Life).
The belief is that God met man and gave him the gift of his love. If man admits this not only in his consciousness but also identifies with it with all his being, he has attained the belief orientation of that of time past. By the strength of this faith, man lived the past in the present. This is also freedom: " And injected into the reality of revelation, everything gains that freedom…" (Star 220). Man is free, not living according to the restricted intellect and compulsion, but. he is open to the God of spirit and the soul which broaden his knowledge and experience. (compare Post Scriptum, 50) And more than anything, it is security, the certainty of "walking humbly with thy God." "He hath shewed thee, 0 man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God" (Micah, 6:8)
Everything regarding the certainty of the meeting is as if God speaks from the throat of man (Star 185). Revelation of his actual love proves the belief orientation of walking humbly and innocently with God and with the security that everything is in the present, and that there is no place left for purposes and conditions. Not "doing justice and loving mercy" is the apex of the confrontation which lies rather in the security in God , man located, independently, within the domain of divine truth, in which the 'way’ and the 'life' are already united.
Rosenzweig uncovers the principal attribute of the life of faith in Judaism - certainty - and makes it the internal logic of "theology." The
עד כה לא נרשמו כל תגובות למאמר The Orientation of Past Time©. רוצה להיות הראשון?
הנך נמצא כאן: The Orientation of Past Time©.