God made all of us capable to understand His guidance – not only the rabbis 


 

It seems to me, something is missing in this sermon.

 

From a sermon by Rabbi Sacks:

 

Judaism identified three distinct moral sensibilities each of which has its own voice and vocabulary. They are [1] the ethics of the king, [2] the ethics of the priest and fundamentally, [3] the ethics of the prophet.

 

Jeremiah and Ezekiel talk about their distinctive sensibilities:

 

For the teaching of the law [Torah] by the priest will not cease,

 

nor will counsel [etzah] from the wise [chakham],

 

nor the word [davar] from the prophets. (Jer. 18:18)

 

They will go searching for a vision [chazon] from the prophet, priestly instruction in the law [Torah] will cease, the counsel [etzah] of the elders will come to an end. (Ez. 7:26)

 

Priests think in terms of Torah. Prophets have “the word” or “a vision.” Elders and the wise have “etzah”. What does this mean? … Kings and their courts are associated in Judaism with wisdom – chokhmahetzah and their synonyms. … The prophetic voice is quite different, impassioned, vivid, radical in its critique of the misuse of power and the exploitative pursuit of wealth. … The ethic of the priest, and of holiness generally, is different again. The key activities of the priest are lehavdil – to discriminate, distinguish and divide – and lehorot – to instruct people in the law, both generally as teachers and in specific instances as judges.

 

———

 

I am not a rabbi, I am just a thinking Jew as the majority of Jews are, and I feel we are missed in this triangle. I feel we are the fourth cornerstone of Judaism – we the individual humans of Judaism whose ethics are distinct moral sensibilities as well. We are not teaching the Jewish spirituality; we are not counseling any formal congregation of people; and we are not instructing anybody on any Talmudic rules. We have, at least most of us have, Jewish ethics in our genes clarified and enhanced by our families, education and our encounters with many in the triangle above.  

 

What we are doing is modifying and tailoring the “three distinct moral sensibilities” to our distinctive and unique Jewish lives. We are trying, with the help of rabbis or without such help, to figure out how to be the Chosen and how to build together with our Christian human brothers and sisters a better Torah-guided world for everybody. Below are a few example.

 

As a scientist and as a socially active person. One of the areas of my professional involvement was American-Russian relationships, and one of the challenges was whether we had to influence their “perestroika” after the dissolution of the Soviet Union – if they are “made in the image of God” as we are, may be it is better to let them find their own way without our forceful interference.

 

My friend Naum L. was trying hard to strengthen Jewishness of his extensive and politically active family and one of the challenges was to decide what is closer to being Jewish – being politically conservative or liberal.

 

Another my friend Matus S. was involved in shaping up Holocaust exhibitions – should they demonstrate the survival of Jewish nation spiritually or just the massacres.

 

Our Jewishness forced my friends and myself to look for spiritual answers to all challenges in the above – probably as the fourth cornerstone of Judaism.    

 

I tried to find an answer to a question of why our rabbis are not a significant help to us, and what I found is discomforting for the rabbis and myself.

 

The rabbis are trained to teach everything what Judaism created for the last three millenniums, and it was enough when the Jewish majority was isolated from the rest of the “native” people where the Jewish majority lived. For the last two centuries, this situation has changed drastically. Now the Jewish majority lives peacefully together with the non-Jewish population and is building a better world together with Gentiles. Now the Jewish majority lives in the democratic societies where all problems are being resolved by listening to each other and finding a consensus with the others. However, our rabbis are not trained to do that – they are trained to indoctrinate. And the Jewish majority is figuring out, on their own, what to do – how to stay the Chosen and how to build a better world with the others.   

 

From the news media:

 

The study, released by the Pew Research Center, which surveyed the residents of 18 countries, found that only 80 percent of respondents would accept Jews as fellow citizens.

 

————–

 

Thus, the 20% of the Gentiles would not accept the Jews as fellow citizens. May it be that this 20% are the Gentiles reside nearby the strictly orthodox Jewish enclaves and observe the unwillingness of these Jews to find a consensus on how to follow common society rules and build a better world for everybody.      

 

About Vladimir Minkov

Vladimir Minkov Ph.D. is a nuclear scientist, published author and writer. He is the co-author of "Nuclear Shadow Boxing", a scientific history of the nuclear confrontation between the Soviet Union and USA during the cold war and is the author of "The Jews and Their Role in Our World", which explores his personal journey to discovering Jewish identity. Having lost much of his family in the Holocaust and finding his search for spiritual development stifled in the Soviet Union, Vladimir migrated to the United States in the late 1970s.

Posted on May 13, 2017, in English-language posts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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