An Irony and, Perhaps, a Road to Tolerance…

I often find it ironic that those of us who firmly believe in absolute morality based on the absolute reality of God, as a consequence of that very belief, acknowledges one’s own limitations (Only God is perfect, so everything else (including ourselves) is, by definition, imperfect).  By logical necessity, we’re obligated to admit that we might be wrong.

On the other hand, those who espouse relativism as a “reality” of “competing narratives” generally tend to vehemently argue that the truth of this “modern view” is absolute.  In other words, the only diverse narrative that isn’t allowed is that there is an Absolute!  Apparently, they’re never wrong.

The Torah praises humility and then describes Moshe, our greatest leader and teacher as “the most humble of men”.  In order to lead and to teach, Moshe, obviously, understood his own worth and the value of his wisdom.  But in spite of all that, he recognized that he was, in his foundation, a finite human being.

Perhaps our greatest challenge as Jews in the 21st century is that we host a number of denominations and separatist groups, each of whom is sure that their way is the only possible path to reality, whether they consider reality to be finite, as do secularists, or even infinite as do the religious.  But, among the religious there is often an additional layer of “certainty” that only their approach works.  This leads both to delegitimizing other styles, even those which equally observe Torah and Mitzvot, as well as to over-active Kiruv, proselytizing among other “less aware” Jews to join their sect or denomination.  The problem I see here is the underlying assumption that God, against all appearances and against everything we have been taught, is, somehow, too limited, chas v’shalom, to have created the 600,000 unique Neshamot (souls) that we, at the same time, affirm that he has.

Rosh HaShana is the act of acknowledging that only God’s complete, universal and infinite knowledge is capable of truly judging reality.

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2 Responses to An Irony and, Perhaps, a Road to Tolerance…

  1. Dminor says:

    Relativists believe everything is relative except the belief that everything is relative!

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