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SIDIC Periodical XII - 1979/1-2
The Future of Man. Man in Perspective of the Kingdom (Pages 39 - 49)

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Man and Society: Hermeneutical Aspects of a Social Theology according to Jewish Sources
Uriel Tal


Modern « political theology »

There is a growing tendency today to link theology to social reality, and even turn it into an influential factor in that reality. One of the important currents in this development is the one called "political thelogy",' which includes various trends, some of them complementary, and others contradictory.

Some theologians consider the revived term "political thelogy" a suitable framework for the awakening Third World and the protest movements against racial, ethnic, economic or sex discrimination; sometimes this trend is called "revolutionary theology"? Others, such as Moltmann, consider "political theology" to be among other things an expression of the lesson to be learned from the historical experience of the Third Reich, in the sense of a negation of the Nazi regime as a "political religion" as Eric Voegelin called it as early as 1938/39.3 Still others consider "political theology" in the context of a particular American tradition whereby there is a constitutional separation between church and state, but no separation between religion and society, and here American history and civilization are described as "civil religion".4 Another trend seeks to attribute to "political theology" the character of a liberation movement, while critical of exegetical methods such as historicism and the demythologization of Rudolf Bultmann.5 Paul Lehmann analyzes the manifestations of revolution in terms of a theology of politics" In addition there has developed a discussion of the affinity between theology and politics in regard to the national movements in the Middle East in general, and epecially in regard to Israel, the sanctity of the Land and the biblical rationale for Israel as land, society and state.7

The various systems have in common that for their proponents the political plane enters into all aspects of life, individual and public. And religion too, it is said, should be concerned with all aspects of life. Its province is not merely heaven, but also, or perhaps primarily, earth; not merely saving souls, but also, or perhaps primarily, the way of life of man and society.

Consequently, religion must evolve a theology that relates actively and responsibly, and in the opinion of some even radically, to the social situation. The time for religious neutrality is long past; abstaining from activity affects society no less than intervening.

An illuminating volume on the possibility of reviving ". . . the Enlightenment conceptions of rationality and freedom . . . as principles for guiding political philosophy and theology today . . ."8 stressed one of the central dilemmas of political theology today. On the one hand theology must take a stand regarding the political and social situation; on the other hand, since the authority of theology is metaphysical and thus absolute, there is a danger that the adoption of such a stand will sanctify politics. Religion may turn into politics and politics into religion.

Johann B. Metz, one of the scholars who revived the concept of political theology in the modern present-day context, states that the notion has two components: 1) the obligation of the church to be involved in political reality and take a stand from a sense of social responsibility; 2) the need to refrain from turning religion into political religion. Thus Metz declares:

any theology that intends to be critically responsible for the Christian faith and its transmission 9 cannot ignore social and practical issues. Furthermore, genuine theological reflection does not permit itself to be isolated from the problems of the public good, the law, the present status of freedom, etc. . . . the Church is indeed always active as a political power, even before it adopts any explicit position . . . Through the development of a practical-critical hermeneutic, theology seeks to prevent the Church from identifying itself uncritically with particular political ideologies. Accordingly, theology strives to prevent the Church from degenerating into purely political religion ...10

These hermeneutics, says Metz, are rooted in and derived from " . . . the biblical message of freedom" especially in the Christology such as according to 1 Corinthians 3:21-23. Thus through the belongingness to Christ who then belongs to God all men have been freed from the oppression of political rulers and classes. Political power has been relativized and transferred to man's own responsibility.11

Jurgen Moltmann too stipulates those two components: 1) becoming responsibly involved in the social reality, and 2) avoiding the transformation of politics into religion or religion into politics. Thus, ". . . political theology wants to awaken political consciousness in every treatise of Christian theology . . . Churches . . . that retire into an a-political neutrality, which they believe puts them above politics, are nonetheless politically involved . . ./,12 On the other hand, says Moltmann,

. . . political theology does not reduce everything to politics (C. Schmitt) nor does it submit theology and the Church to the terms and requirements of state policy. Nor does it aim to make political questions the central themes of Christian theology. . . . we conceive political theology therefore as the new perspective for all Christian theology . .13

The hermeneutical framework of political theology, continues Moltmann, is that of the cross versus that of idolatry. Accordingly, the mortal conflict of Jesus with the public powers of his day, contrary, as Moltmann puts it, to the old theology that developed a "state metaphysics", should serve as the basis for a critical and theoretical instrument for freeing man from political idolatry, paternalism and alienation. This interpretation of the cross is part of Moltmann's exegetical approach to

.. . the Second Commandment which forbids all images of God . . . initiates . . . a political life freed from idolatry. . . . the Second Commandment, by forbidding the fashioning of images, drew the world of nature away from . . . divine provenance and into the responsibility of man. It freed man . . . and preserved . . . his dominion and creation ..14

The liberating work of the Second Commandment was then continued by the prophets and afterwards by Paul (Rom 1:18ff.). Then it was Luther, in his Larger Catechism, who applied Paul's doctrine by internalizing the concept of idolatry. "Where you hang your heart," said Luther, "there is your God." 13 Moltmann, then, sees the biblical prohibition of images as an essential aspect of a new political theology, one that demythologizes theology, desacralizes every claim of divinity in man or nature and thus democratizes the state. Accordingly, ". . . Jesus' eschatological message of freedom was implicitly a total attack on the very existence of the religious state . . .”16

Theology and the human reality

At this point there arises the question of the place of Judaism and its traditional sources in this current development of theology which is essentially concerned with human reality. We shall deal with the question in three phases: a) the term "political theology" and its place in Judaism; b) the traditional hermeneutic method as a tool for analyzing Jewish theology concerned with the human situation; c) actual hermeneutic structures in Jewish social theology.

a) "Social theology" vs. "political theology"

The history of Judaism shows that the term "social theology" is more suitable than "political theology" for defining the relationship of theology to the human situation." In scriptural tradition, at the beginning tribal leadership was the center of political activity, later occupied by the monarchy and state. Thus, in the weekly portion called "judges" (Deut 16:18-21:9)18 it is still difficult to discern a clear separation between society and state, though the very need to appoint "judges and officers" indicates that the separation was inherent in that ancient reality. Similarly the rebellion of Korah and his company many indicate that the power centers were not toally concentrated in the hands of the political leadership but were partially diffused in society 19 This duality between society and statehood was likewise demonstrated in the Midrash on the establishment of the monarchy according to 1 Samuel 8:6. Rabbi Eliezer noted two views of the monarchy: ". . . the elders asked properly, saying 'Give us a king to judge us', but the common people spoiled it saying `that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may . . . go out before us" (Sanh. 20b). According to Rabbi Eliezer, the chief function of a political regime is to maintain the social order in accordance with law and justice, and only "the common people" consider military might the goal of a monarchy. Under the impact of the political situation in Erets Israel under Roman rule, and in the spirit of the rabbinical conception objecting to power as a value in itself, the legend tells of Rabbi Shimon Ben Shetah's critical approach to the monarchy. As the story goes, a slave of King Jannaeus killed someone, and the Sanhedrin summoned the king to pass judgement on the case. He came and sat before them. Shimon Ben Shetah told him to stand up, for "It is not before us that you stand but before the One who said 'Let there be the world'." He answered that he would do not as Shimon Ben Shetah bade, but as Shimon's colleagues did. Alas, to his right and to his left, all had their eyes fixed on the ground. Shimon Ben Shetah told them they were intriguers, and the legend adds, in the spirit of the Pharisees rather than the Sadducees, that ". . . Gabriel came forthwith and smote them into the ground" (Sanh. 19 a, b).20

The sages wished to see the state, and not merely the Roman regime, not as an aim in itself, but as a means of ensuring a way of life as per the Torah, and of maintaining public order, as the Midrash puts it in Avoda Zara 4 a in reference to "And makest men as the fishes of the sea" (Hab 1:14): As among the fishes of the sea the bigger ones swallow the smaller ones, so would human beings do, if not in fear of authority.21

Afterwards, in the Mishneh Torah of Maimonides, which includes Jewish law and theology in its historical development, political theology is concentrated mainly in Book 14, under "Rulings for Kings and Their Wars". In the rest of the books, the emphasis is on social theology, that is, on the overall way of life of man in society, and on his moral, that is religious, responsibility in the day to day situation.22

Later in the Middle Ages, and during the era of Jewish self-government, such as in Germany, Poland, Lithuania, and Central Europe,23 the political plane expressed itself in two areas, and here too politics did not encompass or overlap social life. Externally, political Judaism was conceived as a policy for ensuring the survival of a particular ethnic-religious and socio-economic group, while internally politics served as the arena for power struggles among the wealthy and prominent on the one hand, and on the other between them and the rabbinical leadership within which there were power struggles as well. Politics thus served the community but was not identical with it, and religion did not view politics as its main interest, but focused on society.

With the decline of Jewish self-government and its official cessation in the eighteenth century, new social and political frameworks developed. While traditional society underwent a fundamental sociological change, the principal innovation was widespread secularization. That process made possible the struggle for legal and social emancipation and the participation of Jews in general politics, especially in liberal movements, in intellectual circles and in radical and revolutionary organizations. Despite these far-reaching changes in Jewish history, the traditional subordination of politics to society persisted. Even in the non-religious movements in Jewish life, whether nationalistic or not, politics remained simply a means to achieve certain aims or hopes regarding a new society where equality, justice and liberty would reign. 24

Consequently, in dealing with social theology according to Jewish sources, we would be more accurate if we did not exchange the term "social" for "political". Thus, social theology in Judaism encompasses all aspects of life, especially those involving the precepts which are termed "precepts between man and man" whose purpose is to order existing earthly reality, on the concrete plane. A typical literary exposition of this is given in a legend dating from the period of Roman rule in Erets Israel:

. . . It is related that because of his criticism of the Roman administration, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai had to hide himself to save his life. He and his son concealed themselves in a cave for twelve years. On hearing that the king was dead and the decree rescinded, he came out of his hiding place. He saw men ploughing and sowing and exclaimed: 'They forsake the life of eternity and busy themselves with the life that is transitory.' Wherever he and his son turned their eyes, the land was at once consumed by fire. A bat kol (r= echo) issued forth and said to them: `Have you left your cave to destroy my world? Go back to it.' 25

b) The traditional hermenutic method

One of the principle methods by which social theology in Judaism developed is interpretation, that is, exegetical hermeneutics. This kind of exegesis in Judaism is structured dialectically, involving a constant struggle between two poles — the source and its meaning, with the source presumably permanent and the meaning changeable. In practice, however, in the course of historical evolution, a special dialectical structure developed: the interpreted meaning itself turns into a source which then acquires a new meaning and again requires new interpretation. These two components and the dialectics between them reflect the existential dilemma of the Jew, the desire to remain true to revelation while accepting its authority as making a whole way of life obligatory, and the need to adapt revelation to the demands of life and livelihood that undergo change and innovation as period suceeds period. The sources define these two components, the original and its meaning, as the Written Law and the Oral Law. The authority of the former derives from the revelation at Mt. Sinai, while the Oral Law derives from interpretation as it developed in the course of history. The sages, however, sought to impart binding authority to the Oral Law as well, in other words, to the various interpretations which change and quite of ten even contradict each other. Thus the Midrash (Git. 60 b) quotes Rabbi Yohanan's interpretation of "for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel" (Ex 34:27) whereby "after the tenor" (= al pi) means the Oral Law (= torah shebeal pe) so that the Holy One blessed be he made a covenant with Israel only for the purpose of Oral teachings. A similar linguistic interpretation to reinforce the authority of hermeneutics is cited in Eruvin 21 b regarding "His locks are curled" (kotsotav taltalim) in the Song of Songs 5:11, which is explained as meaning that "every part of a letter (= kots) has to be expounded with heaps (= tilei-tilim) of rulings . . ."

In that spirit it was ruled that not just the Pentateuch, but also all things said by the prophets and sages throughout the ages were given to Moses on Mt. Sinai, "the Holy One blessed be he having shown Moses the fine points of the Torah and of exegetists and what exegetists would interpret in the future . . ."26 This opened the way for a rich and ramified development of hermeneutics, with the understanding that the interpretation is not identical with the source, but rather legitimately introduces innovations, as per the Mishna (Hag. 1.8): ". . . releases from vows float in the air and have hardly anything to be based on, Sabbath .. . [sacrificial] rulings are after all like hanging from a hair as they are little Scriptures and lots of rulings . . .". Furthermore, interpretations of the law can also eradicate rulings of the Scriptures as long as the exegetist and his followers continue to view those innovations as potentially included a priori in the revelation.

Modern theological trends in Judaism which accept critical disciplines like history, philology, archeology, biblical criticism, etc. continue to differentiate between these two types of tradition, however re-explained. Liberal Judaism from its inception turned to rationalistic explanations, and even for Herman Cohen the source of authority was revelation, and this concept stood the test of reason, especially on the plane of ethics. Conservative Judaism attributed to revelation and the developments that ensued historical though not historistic (that is, not necessarily relativistic) truth. Today, these have been joined by existential and psycho-sociological explanations, but the tendency to retain the authority of revelation as the primary one in Judaism has remained in force; what has changed are the interpretations of that authority.

It is at this point in the development of the interpretation of social theology in Judaism that the traditions of Midrash and legend increase in importance. ,At first glance, as a matter of principle only the Law, the halakha, has binding authority, while prophecy, poetry, wisdom literature, legend, social and moral philosophy, all these are not normatively binding. But in historical reality, in the history of Jewish society, in family life, in education, and also in the personal experiential world of the Jew, it was in fact these traditions which were most significant, while quite a number of the 613 precepts and the later Law wereconfined to study or to the realm of legal deliberations. The world of legend, symbolism, historical memory, beliefs and opinions, customs, style of speech and dress, daily patterns of behavior, the yearning to be free of economic and public restrictions, of the diaspora — galut in its existential sense, i.e., of the human condition of estrangement, of man's alienation from the world and from the history he happened into involuntarily — all these became crucial factors in the history of social theology. These factors never achieved legal legitimation, i.e., they never became Law. Daily deeds in the spirit of the Midrash and legend did not carry the rewards the precepts did, but they were an existential interpretation of Judaism, and thus wove the fabric of life within which historical reality actually existed.

A typical instance is the advice given in Siffrei on the weekly portion "ekev" (Deut 7:12-11:25): ". . . if you wish to know who said 'Let there be the world', study legend, for thus you will know the Holy One blessed be he, and follow his ways . . ." This desire to know God, not as abstract theology but as a way to shape a real life style is also one of the purposes of the precepts. In a well-known etymological interpretation of "The word of the Lord is tried" in Psalm 18:31, Rav says that

. .. precepts were given only to try, i.e., purify or cleanse, human beings, for what does the Holy One blessed be he care if anyone slaughters at the throat or at the back? Or if I eat defiled or pure food? The precepts were given to try, i.e., purify or cleanse, human beings . . 27

The Midrash then asks what the importance of the Law with all its formal fine points is, and the answer is that its importance lies in its moral function, in purifying the human being.

In the course of time, this questioning of the importance of the Law with all its meanings occupied an increasingly greater place. If the purpose of the Law is the improvement of man's moral qualities, then as progress is achieved, as rational or humanistic ways of attaining the same goal are found, the need for scriptural precepts may be reduced or even vanish. The problem already preoccupied the sages, and became more urgent during later periods of culture contact, during the era of Judeo-Arabic culture, and later with the development of critical rationalism in modern times. The sages already proposed a solution which was frequently proffered after them, and in modern theological thought as well. Yoma 67 b, in reference to Leviticus 18:4, and Yalkut Shimoni on the weekly portion "aharei mot" (Lev 16-18), following the Maimonides exegesis on Leviticus 19:19, all suggest a distinction between "statutes" (= mishpatim) and "ordinances" (= hukim): "Statutes" are rules which form part of the revelation, but which human wisdom too could have discovered, and made obligatory, such as the prescriptions against idol worship, blood-shed and robbery. "Ordinances", on the other hand, are rules which likewise are part of the revelation, but whose purpose is not immediately understood by the human mind, commandments which are not inevitably derivable, such as the prescription against eating pork or wearing cloth made of mixed fibers, the injunction regarding a man's marrying his brother's widow, purifying a leper, sending forth a scapegoat, or sacrificing a red heifer.

Until modernization, it was accepted that even if the reasons for the precepts are obvious, known, and understood, compliance should not depend on those reasons, for the source of authority remains metaphysical and transreasonable. With the rise of humanism and critical rationalism, man acquired mental autonomy, and this autonomy made it difficult to accept the yoke of precepts whether "statutes" or "ordinances". That is perhaps the reasons spiritual leaders as faithful to tradition as Rabbi D.B. Soloveitchik include in their teachings more and more themes from modern thought, from religious existentialism, from phenomenology or even the Bergsonian notion of intuition.28

c) Hermeneutics in Jewish social theology

Hermeneutics contributed a great deal to the transformation of social theology into a vital factor in Jewish history. Through it social theology forms what phenomenology, particularly in Husserl's later writings, terms Lebenswelt (= life world), that is, the entire context of man's lived experience. However, contrary to Heidegger's conception of existence as irreducible and all-embracing Da-sein, meaning "being-in-the-world", Judaism is reluctant to assign man the status of transcendental subjectivity. Hermeneutics in Jewish social theology does not provide all the ontological tools forcomprehending existence. Here, in contrast to secular existentialism of the Sartre variety, man is not thrown into history without the essence which precedes existence. In fact, every actual Da-sein is preceded by potential essence which is revelation manifested in history, in reality.

On the basis of this contention, in itself trans-scientific, social theology developed a ramified body of hermeneutics relating to all areas of life. Current critical scholarship may well deepen our understanding of the social function of hermeneutics, especially the creation of a Lebenswelt, which is a sphere of experience shaped by society and, as Van A. Harvey said, by history, expressed in symbols, language systems, meaning-structures and socially accustomed communications.29

Hermeneutics in Jewish social theology, then, is an attempt to reconcile tradition with changing life-experience. This is done by utilizing quite a rich variety of forms of interpretation, such as informative exploration, meaning explanation, text commentation, intuitive perception, language structure discernment, phenomenological comparison, symbol interpretation, etymological exegesis, inductive and deductive inference, and the technique of uncovering hidden meanings inherent in or bestowed upon sacral objects, customs, and socialized ways of behaving.

Hence, similarly to Hans G. Gadamer's contention that indeed interpretation is always from the standpoint of the ever changing present, of a structural openness receptive to the "otherness" of the interpreted life experience," social theology shapes modes of man's being. However, contrary to scientific hermeneutics, Jewish social theology is an authoritative theology binding and committing those who accept its yoke. Against this background, let us now analyze and reformulate several hermeneutical structures of Jewish social theology.

Hermeneutic tolls of Jewish social theology

a) Individuative socialization

This hermeneutic structure expresses the mutual connection between individual and society. On the one hand, emphasis is placed on the personal responsibility of the individual for his intentions, his deeds and their consequences, in fact for his whole way of life; and on the other, the individual's dependence on the community and the moral significance of that dependence are stressed.

Man as an individual is a value in himself, and the apogee of creation, as explained, for example, in Sanhedrin 36 a: ". . . when a man makes several impressions with one seal, they are all alike, but when the Holy One blessed be he imprints every man with the seal of the first man, not one resembles the other . . 31 The essence of the particularity of the individual lies in his moral responsibility. Even though a man's home, heritage and heredity determine his personality to a large extent, he cannot reject moral responsibility on the grounds that he is merely the product of the biological, social, material or historical conditions he grew in, and as Rashi said commenting on Sanhedrin 38 a, ". . . do not say 'we are children of a righteous man, our father was created righteous so that we are righteous and we do not have to avoid sin because we will not commit sin' . . . !" Nor should man despair because of moral responsibility, claiming "'we are children of evil and we have no need to repent or justify ourselves for it will not help' .. ."

Man is unique in having the capacity to choose between good and evil, between life and death (Deut 30:19); and Macabbees Book 4, which is also called "On the Rule of Reason", has an explanation for it influenced by Stoicism, as follows: ". . . it is in the power of the intellect to govern desire and the instincts, to divert some in a good direction and to suppress others." 3'e And many generations later, in the same spirit Maimonides stated:

. . . every man has the right to turn in the direction of the good if the wishes . . . it is in his hands. And if he wishes, to turn in the direction of evil . . . it is in his hands. For the race of man is unique in the world and no other resembles him, that by the power of his own reason and thoughts he knows good and evil . . . and no one can prevent him. . . . Do not imagine .. . that the Holy One blessed be he determines from the start of man's creation that he should be righteous or evil . . . but he himself of his own will leans in the direction he desires .. 33

From the other point of view, the individual by virtue of his creation has a responsibility to society, and the entire fabric of his life is interwoven with that of society. In connection with an ostensibly technical consideration of rulings regarding the saying of grace, the Talmud establishes a principle which was interpreted in the broadest contexts in succeeding generations: "A man should never exlude himself from the totality.34 And in the same spirit, the Midrash says (in Ta'an 11 a):

When the community is in sorrow, no man should say "I will go home and eat and drink and be merry" . . . but be sorrowful with the community, as was Moses . . . for it is said (Ex 17:12): "But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon;" then did not Moses have any other cushion or seat to sit on? But Moses said, since Israel is in difficulties, I too will sorrow with them, and anybody who sorrows with the group will have the privilege of seeing it comforted; and lest a man say: "Who will see me?" the stones of a man's house and the beams of a man's house see, for it is said: "Stones from the wall will shout . . ."

The awareness of the partnership between individual and group is required in Jewish tradition not only in times of sorrow. Quite the contrary. It embodies a positive, optimistic and constructive view of a social structure made possible by a division of labor, and ofa social morality making it possible for the division of labor to operate. This is expressed, for example, in the Tosefta to Berakhot (7:2) and, in the Talmud (Ber. 58 a) by ben Zoma, who contemplating society said:

How much effort the first man expended till he found bread to eat: he ploughed, sowed, reaped, tied, threshed, winnowed, sifted and ground . . . and he kneaded and baked, and then ate, and I get up and find it all ready before me; and how much effort the first man expended till he found a garment to wear: he sheared and bleached, and beat and spun and wove, and then found a garment to wear; and I get up and find it all ready before me .. .

b) Reality structure

A symbol is usually a material object that stands for something else, indicating, suggesting or recalling something which cannot or should not assume material shape. In that case the object itself, as long as it is an authentic symbol, is not the essence, but rather a surrogate, while the essence itself remains hidden.35 According to the hermeneutic tool here termed "reality structure", however, some symbols operate differently. Here the material object serves simultaneously as symbol and substance. The symbol indicates something spiritual, non-material, but at the same time it is relevant in itself, i.e., in its materiality, in its substantiality. The symbol thus operates on two levels, as what it actually is, on the one hand, and as what it indicates and represents, on the other.

An example of this exegetical structure is the precept on sabbatical and jubilee years, the former every seven years, and the latter after seven sabbaticals (Lev 25). This precept on fallow years includes a) the land resting from cultivation, for it is said "then shall the land keep a sabbath to the Lord"; b) no working the land, for it is said "thou shalt not sow thy field"; c) no working the orchards, for it is said "nor prune thy vineyard"; d) not reaping the aftergrowth, for it is said "that which groweth of itself of thy harvest thou shalt not reap"; e) not picking fruit, for it is said "and the grapes of thy undressed vine thou shalt not gather"; f) rest for the fruit of the soil, for it is said "and the seventh shalt thou leave and abandon it"; g) releasing debts, for it is said (Deut 15:2) "every creditor shall release that which he bath lent"; h) not claiming a loan that was outstanding beyond seven years, for it is said, "Thou shalt not exact payment"; i) not refraining from extending loans before the sabbatical year for fear that the repayment will be delayed and the debt released, for it is said (Deut 15:9) "Beware that there be not a base thought in your heart" (cf. Mo'ed Kat. 2 b).

That precept has preoccupied exegetistis ever since the days of the Mishnah and Talmund, and with all the changes that took place in hermeneutics, including the emergence of mystical and even economic-realistic interpretations, the dual value structure of symbolism and realism still applies 36 The sages, in Sanhedrin 39 a, already stated that there was a dual purpose to the fallow year, in the practical agricultural and socio-economic area on the one hand, and in the symbolic-educationl area on the other: ". . . and the Holy One blessed be he said to Israel: Sow six and leave fallow the seventh so that you shall know the land is mine . . ."; and Rashi adds: ". . . and your hearts shall not pride yourselves in your land and forget the yoke of his kingship." s' The same spirit is apparent in the interpretation of Rabbi Aaron Halevy in his well-known popular work Sefer ha-Hinnukh, where he says that the fallow year precepts are required in order to remind man that although "the land provides him with fruits annually, it is not of its own power and virtue, for it has a master above its masters . . ." 38 And in connection with the polemics against the neo-Aristotelians, Rabbi Halevy adds that "the root of this precept wished to fix in our hearts and paint vividly in our thoughts the idea of the creation ex nihilo . . ."; for the six years symbolize the six days of creation, and the seventh represents the sabbath, and thus the agricultural statutes exemplify the cosmogenic concept of Judaism as opposed to the Hellenistic one regarding the primordial existence of the world. The exegetists add that the renunciation of income once in seven years and then in the Jubilee year teaches man to do without, to be generous to the poor, and to be content with little. This was stressed as well by Samuel David Luzzatto, a traditional-modern biblical scholar of the early nineteenth century: ". . . that the grain of that year is abandoned . . . equalizes the rich and the poor and reduces the pride of the rich and reminds them that all men are equal." Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, one of the forerunners of religious Zionism, explained the fallow year precept in a similar vein, and Rabbi Kook added a mystical even mythic conception which expressed the dual significance of being, the organic unity of spirit and matter, land and morality, of spiritual realism.39

This merger of the symbol and the symbolized, or symbol and substance, becomes more complex in the blood theme. On the one hand, blood in the Bible is conceived in a straightforward, substantive manner: "And ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast" (Lev 7:26), and similarly in many other places. But at the same time, blood is also conceived symbolically while preserving the connection with substance, as Nachmanides expounded: ". . . it is known that what is eaten reappears in the body of the eater, and if he consumes blood there will be sluggishness and vulgarity in man's soul, as an animal'ssoul is sluggish and vulgar . . . it is not fitting that soul should swallow soul . . ."41)

In another context the concept of blood acquires an ethical-social meaning. In connection with Leviticus 19:16, "Neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor," the Talmud (Sanh. 73 a) explains: ". . . why does someone seeing a fellow man drowning in the river, or carried off by a wild animal, or attacked by robbers have to come to his rescue at his own peril? Because it is said: 'thou shalt not stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor'." And the sages, in the Sifrah to Leviticus, included more in their interpretation, such as "Why is it that if a man witnessed something he is not allowed to keep silent? Because it is said: `thou shalt not stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor' :41

c) Justificative rationalization

Another hermeneutic structure in the area of social theology is justificative rationalization. This structure is used to explain, interpret and justify actual experience man finds difficult to bear, yet must come to terms with simply in order to function in his daily life. Primarily, this structure serves to justify suffering and explain pain, so that it may be possible to live with them. One of the most widespread explanations of suffering is the one in Proverbs 3:12: "For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth", and the sages went on to say: "Whomever the Holy One blessed be he desires, he crushes with suffering, for it is said: (Is 53:10) `Yet it pleased the Lord to crush him by disease"' (Ber. 5 a). And in the same vein the sages expounded an educational method whereby suffering can turn into a purifying, constructive stimulating factor: "If a man sees that suffering comes to him, let him scrutinize his deeds, for it is said: 'Let us search and try our ways, and return to the Lord' (Lam 3:40); and if he searches and finds nothing let him ascribe it to neglecting the Torah, for it is said: 'Happy is the man whom thou instructest, O Lord, and teachest out of thy law' (Ps 94:12); and if he ascribes it so and finds nothing, he will know that this suffering is because of love . . ." (Ber 5 a). Similarly the Midrash (Ex. R. I. 1) explains troubles as in "Lord, how many are mine adversaries become! Many are they that rise up against me" (Ps 3:2) as a sign of God's love, hence a blessing and a constructive factor in life.

Another manner of explaining suffering, common in interpretations of historical events, is exemplified in the various meanings ascribed to the destruction of the Temple. The internal structure of this exegesis includes forms of projection and rationalization as well as expressions of personal experience and hopes for a better future. Among the reasons for the destruction, the sages cited desecration of the sabbath, failure to say the Shema prayer morning and evening, failure to study the Torah, the loss of "modesty before one another, for sneering . . . at learned men, for the disappearance of . . . men of faith . . ." (Shah. 119 b). Another version (Yoma 9 b) states that the First Temple was destroyed because of transgressions against the laws of basic humanity and monotheism such as idol worship, incest and bloodshed, while the Second Temple was destroyed for additional reasons, among them uncalled-for hatred, jealousy, and pettiness in human relations (as per the legend on Kamza and Bar Kamza, in Git. 55 b, 56 a).

d) Structure of transference

An additional structure in which hermeneutics developed in Jewish social theology, especially for the purpose of ordering human relations, is the structure of transference. Its chief function is to turn instincts, needs and weaknesses into constructive factors. Sometimes it operates as sublimation of instincts and impulses, and sometimes as transformation of depressive powers into vital ones. In its literary guise it often takes the form of metaphor, such as: "The evil impulse is first like a passer-by, then like a lodger, and finally like the master of the home" (Suk. 52 b). A typical example of this structure of transference is the common theme of "conquering impulses". Regarding Isaiah 32:20, "Happy are ye that sow beside all waters", the sages (Avodah Z. 5 b) say:

Happy is Israel, for whenever they engage in Torah or philanthropy, their impulses are in their hands, and not vice versa, for it is said: "Happy are ye that sow beside all waters", and there is no sowing except righteousness, for it is said: (Hos 10: 12) "Sow to yourselves according to righteousness", and water is just the Torah, for it is said: (Is 55:1) "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come yer for water."

Tradition demonstrated considerable undestanding of human nature and emotional needs, and ascertained that the greater a person the greater his passions . . ." (Suk. 52 a). The sages added, in the Mishnah (Avot 2) that in proportion to the difficulty man has in controlling himself so is his reward. The person's inner strength and integrity are put to the test, especially in regard to the precepts that are not self-explanatory, or that are not "statutes" (see above), but are, as Saadia Gaon established, the revealed precepts, that is, precepts that are "ordinances" or "commandments", the obedience to which requires complete faith and the relinquishment of some autonomy. According to the sages, they are precepts against which "evil nature" rebels, inciting Israel to say that ". . . the Torah is not true, for what is the use of all this . . ." (Yoma 67 b)..42

Against this background, tradition seeks to develop constructive forms for man's material and emotional needs, for his inclinations, weaknesses, and the temptations he is subjected to, for his need for respect and recognition from his social environment. In interpreting "If thou lend money to any of my people, even to the poor with thee, thou shalt not be to him as a creditor" (Ex 22:24), tradition states that ". . . the precept to lend is stronger and more binding than the precept of charity", for the receipt of charity has a weakening effect, while the receipt of a loan can be constructive and help the borrower to once more stand on his own feet." Regarding the end of the verse "thou shalt not be to him as a creditor", the Midrash (Bava M. 45 b) as well as later moral teachings say that someone who has become a creditor may not pass the debtor's house nor "be seen at any time by him" to avoid the impression that "repayment is being demanded of a poor man who has nothing to repay it with". Similarly, the exegetists say, it is forbidden to pity a poor man in a trial, ". . . but his case should be tried truly, and not on the side of compassion, but equal for rich and poor". In the same spirit the commentators stress the need to consider the other person's self-respect at all times. In regard to the well-known precept "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Lev 19: 18), Ben Azai explains that that love is great because "in the likeness of God he made him" (Gen 5:1) and therefore: "do not say that because I am scorned, let my neighbor be scorned with me, because I am cursed, let my neighbor be cursed with me; said Rabbi Tanhuma: If you do so, know whom you are scorning, for 'in the likeness of God he made him'."" Of like structure is the Mekhilta exegesis to Exodus 20:23, "Neither shalt thou go by steps unto Mine altar", which applies one of the well-known rules of logic by which the Torah may be expounded," . . . inferring the major from the minor":

. . . just as of stones that have no knowledge of either good or evil, the Holy One blessed be he says: Do not treat them with contempt, so your fellow man, who is in the likeness of the One who said "Let there be the world" is not to be treated with contempt. 46

The necessity of controlling resentment and the desire for revenge is expressed, for instance, in the exegesis of Leviticus 19:18, "Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge". The sages explain (Yoma 23 a):

. . . what is vengeance and what is bearing a grudge? Vengeance is if someone asks, Lend me your sickle, and he says, No. The next day the latter says to the former, Lend me your axe, and the former says, I won't, just as you didn't lend me . . . And what is bearing a grudge? Someone says, Lend me your axe. He says, No. The next day the latter says to the former, Lend me your coat. He says, Here, I'm not like you who wouldn't lend to me. That is bearing a grudge .. .

And the exegetists add: ". . . when hostility remains in his heart although he does not take revenge . . .", and Rashi puts it in a typical metaphor: ". . . and a grudge: hostility like a snake in his bosom . . ."

This exegetical structure whose essence is the transference of impulse from destructive to constructive forces is summed up in the conception of the sages that evil impulses are as legitimate as good ones, since ". . . but for the evil yetser a man would neither build a home nor marry a wife, nor beget children, nor engage in commerce . . •" 48 Consequently everything depends on a person's desire or strength to turn his impulses into a beneficent factor, as stated in Berakhot 66 b: ". . . the righteous have their desires in their power, the wicked are in the power of their desires."

e) Action model

This hermeneutic structure resembles the theological principle known as imitatio Dei, except that in the context of Jewish social theology, the emphasis is on a way of life that is to be shaped according to the virtues and works of God. This does not mean the imitation of God himself," or as the New Testament has it (Rom 6:5-11), total identification with the son of God in life, in death, and in resurrection.

The virtues and works of God serve as a model, as noted by the commentator Ovadia of Sforno in his interpretation of Exodus 20:2, "by means of reflection, knowledge and the exercise of free will . . ." The main model appears in Exodus 34:6-7 which cites the thirteen virtues in the works of the Holy One blessed be he, and in the interpretation of "And ye shall be holy; for I the Lord your God man holy" (Lev 19:2).5° Regarding "This is my God, and I will glorify him" (Ex 15:2), Aba Shaul explains: ". . . glorify him: be like him; as he is merciful and gracious, you be merciful and gracious . . . etc." 5' And Rashi puts it, "glorify him" ( = anvehu) is "I am he" ( = anihu). ". . . I will make myself like him to follow his path . . . meaning . . . be (or rather act) like him" (Shab. 133 a). In the same vein is the interpretation, in Sotah 14 a, of "After the Lord your God shall ye walk .. . and unto him shall ye cleave" (Deut 13:5): "How can man walk after him who is said to be 'a devouring fire'? . . . man should pattern his life after the divine attributes (or works). Like him he must clothe the naked, visit the sick, comfort the bereaved . . . etc." This was clearly expounded by Rabbi Shabtai Donolo in the exegesis of "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen 1:26), as follows:

. . . and the image and likeness that the Holy One blessed be he said is not a likeness in appearance but a likeness between the works of God and of the world. As God is supreme and governs man and the whole world, . . . so man . . . ; as God knows and understands, so man who was given wisdom and knowledge. And as God supplies and gives bread to all flesh, so man supports his family, his servants and his livestock; and as the Creator made the construction of the world, and the elements of the earth, and the dome of the heavens, and the gathering together of the waters . . . so too man . . . and in most things man will somewhat resemble God in accordance with the little strength and short life given him by God . . . 52


We have studied aspect of the interrelationship of man and society according to Jewish sources. We saw that this interrelationship crystallized in a framework of social theology. This theology then was analyzed by reconstruction forms of traditional hermeneutics in the light of modern existential hermeneutics.

The analysis of hermeneutical from shows that Jewish social theology functions as a means by which tradition is being adjusted to the ever changing life-situations in actual historical reality. Accordingly a dialectical relationship between "origin" and "meaning", "source" and "interpretation" is constantly at work. These dialectics serve as structural framework for wrestling with the dilemma that is of great concern to what has been termed "political theology": public responsibility of religion on the one hand, without sacralizing politics on the other.

The solution given to this dilemma by Judaism is the authority of society over politics, as derived from revelation. Thus political concern and action remain controlled by society, while society, community and congregation, and through them each responsible individual, directly and without intermediation, render occount to their Creator.

1. Helmut Peukert, ed., Diskussion zur politischen Theologie, Mainz: Matthias Grunwald Verlag; Munchen: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1969 (henceforth referred to as: Peukert). On the origin of the term "political theology" in the teachings of Carl Schmitt, see George Schwab, The Challenge of the Exception: An Introduction to the Political Ideas of Carl Schmitt between 1921-1936, Berlin: Duncker and Humblot, 1970. Current developments of this term have been dealt with rather critically by Carl Schmitt in Politische Theologie II: die Legende von der Erledigung jeder politischen Theologie, Berlin: Duncker and Humblot, 1970.
2. Hans Maier, "Politische Theologie", Stimmen der Zeit 94 (Februar 1969), pp. 73-91 (reprinted in Peukert, pp. lff.).
3. Cf. the collection of essays Totaler Staat und christliche Freiheit which appeared even earlier, and was published by the "Forschungsabteilung des Oekumenischen Rates fur praktisches Christentum", Vol. VII, Genf, 1937, especially Karl Barth, "Der Totalitatsanspruch des heutigen Staates, etc.", pp. 20ff. As to the structure of "transformation" and the process of sacralization of politics in the Nazi era, cf. Uriel Tal, "Forms of Pseudoreligion in Germany prior to the Holocaust", Immanuel 1973/4, No. 3, pp. 68ff. (published by the Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity, Jerusalem). See the outstanding study by John S. Conway, Die Nationalsozialistische Kirchenpolitik 1933-1945, Munchen: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, ch. 6, pp. 160ff. (transl. from the English by C. Nicolaisen).
4. Darrol M. Bryant, "America as God's Kingdom", and Herbert W. Richardson, "What Makes a Society Political?", Religion and Political Society, New York: Harper and Row, 1974 (henceforth: Religion and Political Society), pp. 49-120. This volume includes contributions by Johann B. Metz, Jurgen Moltmann, Willi Oelmiiller, translated from Kirche im Prozess der Aufklarung, Munchen: Chr. Kaiser Verlag; Berlin: Matthias Grunwald Verlag, 1970.
5. Dorothee Soelle, Political Theology, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1974. Cf. Hans Hubner, Politische Theologie und existentiale Interpretation, Witten: Luther Verlag, 1973 (Reihe: Glaube und Lehre, Band IX).
6. Paul Lehmann, The Transfiguration of Politics, New York: Harper and Row, 1975, parts I, III.
7. Uriel Tal, "The Land and the State of Israel in Israeli Religious Life", Proceedings of the Rabbinical Assembly, Vol. XXXVIII, New York, 1976, pp. 1-40 (cf. French edition: SIDIC, Vol. X, No. 3 [1977], pp. 4-16). Id., "Jewish Self-Understanding and the Land and State of Israel", Union Seminary Quarterly Review, Vol. XXVI, No. 4 (Summer 1971), pp. 376-381.
8. Religion and Political Society, p. ix.
9. Ibid., Metz does not explain what "the transmission of the Christian faith" implies.
10. Ibid.
11. Ibid., pp. 186, 187.
12. Ibid., pp. 18, 19.
13. Ibid.
14. Ibid., p. 36.
15. Ibid., p. 32.
16. Ibid., p. 34 (cf. pp. 35, 36). It would seem that Metz and Moltmann are perfectly aware of the fact that the term "political theology" may create serious misunderstandings. While their theology is most instructive and helpful, the term, as indeed Hans Maier correctly pointed out, is rather ill-chosen, cf. "Ein Versuch am untauglichen Begriff", Peukert, pp. 4ff. Also David Kelly, "Introduction", Religion and Political Society, pp. 173-176. Also see Hans Maier, "Theologie der Revolution und politische Theologie: kritische Anmerkungen", Essener Gespriiche, No. 4, ed. by Joseph Krautscheidt and Heiner Harre, Minster: Aschendorf,1970, pp. 68ff. On ancient Jewish skepticism regarding political messianic movements cf. Jacob Neusner, First Century Judaism in Crisis, Nashville/New York: Abingdon Press, 1975, pp. 156ff.
17. Salo W. Baron, The Jewish Community: Its History and Structure to the American Revolution, 3 volumes, Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1942 (3rd impression 1948).
18. Yissashar Jakobsohn, Understanding the Bible (Hebrew), 5th edition, Tel-Aviv: Sinai Publishing House, 1963, pp. 197-200.
19. Cf. the weekly portion "Korah" (Num 16:1 - 18 : 32).
20. Also cf. Kid. 66a.
21. Ephraim E. Urbach, On Judaism and Education (Hebrew), Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1966, pp. 104-139.
22. Salo W. Baron, A Social and Religious History of the Jews, New York and London: Columbia University Press; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1965 (4th printing), pp. 71ff.
2.3 Cf. Uriel Tal, "Structures of Fellowship and Community in Judaism", Conservative Judaism, Vol. XXVIII, No. 2 (New York, 1974), p. 3 (n. 3).
24. Salo W. Baron, "Jewish Ethnicism", Modern Nationalism and Religion, New York: Meridian Books; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1960, pp. 213ff. Cf. Nathan Rotenstreich, "National Revival and Traditional Values", Tradition and Reality: The Impact of History on Modern Jewish Thought, New York: Random House, 1972, pp. 77ff. Also see Martin Buber, "Zwischen Gesellschaft und Staat", Der Utopische Sozialismus, Köln: Verlag Jakob Hegner, 1967, pp. 249-270.
25. Shab. 33b.
26. Meg. 19b. Cf. Boaz Cohen, Law and Tradition in Judaism, New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1959, chapters 2, 3, 9.
27. Gen. R. XLIV.1 and Tanhuma to the weekly portion "Shmini" (Lev 9:1 - 13:59).
28. Pinhas H. Peli, "On the Image of the Repenter", On Repentance: From the Oral Discourses of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (Hebrew), written and edited by Pinhas H. Peli, Jerusalem: Torah Education Department, WZO, 1974, pp. 315-352.
29. A. Schutz, "Concept and Theory Formation", Collected Papers, The Hague: Nijhof, 1976, Vol. I, pp. 57ff. Peter L. Berger and T. Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality, London: Allen Lane, 1967. Van A. Harvey, "The Alienated Theologian", McCormick Quarterly, Vol. XXII, No. 4 (May 1970), pp. 234ff. Id., "Die Gottesfrage in der amerikanischen Theologie", Zeitschrift fiir Theologie und Kirche, Vol. LXIV, No. 3 (Tubingen, 1976): ". . . die Begriffe und Symbole . . . ergeben sich aus unserer lebendigen geschichtliche Erfahrung. Man kann sie so verstehen, dass sie einerseits eine objektive Ordnung voraussetzen, anderseits selbst interpretierende Antwort im Licht eines vorherrschenden Interesses . . ." (pp. 351ff.). Harvey in "A Christology for Barabasses" quotes a significant critique by John Gager about the validity of oral history as a historical source when tradition has been transmitted by social institutions, in Perkins Journal, Vol. XXIX, No 3 (Dallas, Texas, Spring 1976), pp. 1ff. Zwi R.J. Werblowsky, "Das Gewissen in jildischer Sicht", Das Gewissen, Studien aus dem C.G. Jung Institut, Zurich, VII, Zurich and Stuttgart: Rascher Verlag, 1958, pp. 89-117. Id., "Faith, Hope and Trust: A Study in the Concept of `Bittahon" Annual of Jewish Studies, London: University College, pp. 95-139. Paul M. van Buren, "Affirmation of the Jewish People: A Condition of Theological Coherence', JAAR, Vol. XLV, No. 3 (Supplement, September 1977), pp. 1075-1100. Van Buren, in a most instructive way, develops a method by which theological traditions are reinterpreted in the light of historical events. Cf. Jacob Neusner, Judaism in the Secular Age, London: Vallentine, Mitchell, 1970, especially parts 1, 2, 5. Neusner analyzes four structures of modernization and thus sheds new light on the hermeneutical history of Judaism in the modern era.
30. Hans G. Gadamer, Wahrheit and Methode: Grundthge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik, 2nd edition, Tubingen: JCB Mohr (P. Siebeck), 1965, "Erhebung der Geschichtlichkeit des Verstehens zum hermeneutischen Prinzip", pp. 250ff. Cf. the critique regarding the confusion of the verbal intrinsic meaning of the text with the subjective meaning of that text for the interpreter, as developed by Emilio Betti, E.D. Hirsch and Richard E. Palmer. Palmer's suggestion to work out a synthesis between philological analysis of the text and hermeneutics in terms of an existential encounter and meaningful experience, seems most helpful for the study of the source-interpretation dialectics in Jewish social theology as well, cf. Hermeneutics: Interpretation Theory in Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger and Gadamer (Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy), Evanston: Northwestern Press, 1969, pp. 3-71, 194ff.
31. The historical and halakhic context of this passage is that of capital cases. The witnesses are told to remember that capital cases are not like civil cases. In civil cases, if a person bears false evidence, he may make atonement simply by paying a fine or retribution. In capital cases the witness is answerable for the blood of any defendant who is wrongly condemned as well as for the blood of his decendants that would have been born to him to the end of time; for contrary to coins, every individual human being is unique (Mishnah, San. 4.5).
32. Apocrypha, ed. by Abraham Cahana (Hebrew), Tel Aviv: Massada, 1956, Vol. 2, 2:6,18; 3:2-5; 7:20.
33. Moses Maimonides, Hilkhot Teshuvah, 5:1-3.
34. Ber. 49b.
35. Paul Tillich, "The Religious Symbol", in Rollo May, ed., Symbolism in Religion and Literature, New York: George Braziller, 1960, pp. 75-98. Cf. Dalziel
H. Duncan, Symbols in Society, London: Oxford University Press, ch. 5, "Methodological Propositions", pp. 151ff.
36. Michel Y. Tuketshinsky, The Book of the Sabbatical (Hebrew), 2nd edition, Jerusalem: Rav Kook Institute, 1958. Shaul Israeli, ed., The Torah and the State (Hebrew), Vol. 4, Tel Aviv, 1952, Part. 2, "The Holiness of the Land", pp. 136-192. Tzuriel Admonith, ed., Sabbatical (Hebrew), Tel Aviv: Ammana, 1959.
37. Also see commentary by Rashi on Genesis 1:1: "All the earth belongs to the Holy One .. ."
38. Aaron Halevy of Barcelona, Sefer ha-Hinnukh on the 613 Commandments (first edition, Venice, 1523), Jerusalem: Eshkol, 1946, pp. 38ff. (henceforth: ha-Hinnukh).
39. Avraham Y. Hacohen Kook, The Sabbatical of the Land (Hebrew), 2nd edition, Jerusalem, 1937, "The Holiness of the Land and of the Commandments", pp. 61ff.
40. ha-Hinnukh, pp. 97,98ff.; cf. Lev 17:11.
41. ha-Hinnukh, p. 134; cf. Lev 19:11,16-18. Also see Gen 4:10,11; 9:6; Ex 24:8; Heb 9:20. On laws, traditions and taboos regarding women's purity, menstruation, etc., cf. Nid. 31b, 57b. On the mythological framework see Paul Ricoeur, The Symbolism of Evil (transl. E. Buchanan), Boston: Beacon Press, 1970, ch. 1, pp. 25ff. On the biblical framework cf. L. Morris, "The Biblical Use of the Term 'Blood", Journal of Theological Studies, 1953, No. 3 (Oxford), pp. 216-227.
42. Cf. Mishnah, Ber. 9.9; T.B. Ber. 5a, 16b, 17a; Kid. 30b.
43. ha-Hinnukh, p. 37; cf. Lev 19:19.
44. Gen. R. 2 XXIV.7.
45.. Logical rules by which the Scriptures may be expounded were attributed by tradition to the following: a) seven rules of Hillel; b) thirteen rules of Ishmael; c) thirty-two rules of Eliezer ben Yose ha-Gelili (cf. Baraita at the beginning of Sifra and Avot de-Rabbi Nathan 37).
46. Mekhilta to Exodus, ch. 20 (weekly portion "Yithro").
47. According to some of the sages and later commentators such as Nahmanides, in cases such as damage to property, theft or robbery, taking vengeance is not prohibited. Also murder should be avenged but only according to court rulings. Some sages said that a scholar (talmid hakham) who does not bear some kind of grudge is not a real scholar, cf. Yoma 22b, 23a.
48. Gen. R. IX.7.
49. Rosh H. 17b; cf. Joseph B. Soloveitchik, "The Lonely Man of Faith", Tradition, Vol. 7, No. 2 (New York, Summer 1965).
50. Nahmanides on Lev 19:2.
51. Shab. 133b.
52. A. Jellinek, ed., "Commentary on 'Let Us Create Man in Our Image", Tahkemoni (Hebrew), Leipzig edition, 1854, p. 8.


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