Friday, April 09, 2021

The real problem

The problem to my [philosophy] professors was how to be good. In my ears the question rang: How to be holy. At the time I realized that there is much that philosophy could learn from Jewish life. To the philosophers the idea of the good was the most exalted idea, the ultimate idea. To Judaism the idea of the good is penultimate. It cannot exist without the holy. The good is the base, the holy is the summit. Man cannot be good unless he strives to be holy.

To have an idea of the good is not the same as living by the insight, Blessed is the man who does not forget Thee.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 129

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