בדידותו של איש האמונה במשנתו של י" ד סולובייצ'יק, הדיאלקטיקה של גורל וייעוד

Translated title of the contribution: The Loneliness of the Man of Faith in the Philosophy of Soloveitchik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this article is to reveal the systematic, hidden structure of I.D. Soloveitchik's conception concerning the relation between fate and mission. There are two aspects of human existence: one, in which life is perceived as governed by fate, and one motivated by a sense of mission. Man living within the realm of fate appears as a object; his existence lacks meaning, his actions are compelled. As opposed to this dimension is the one of existence for the sake of a mission. Here, man is conceived of as possessing free choice, and his life is meaningful. These two existential dimensions are mutually exclusive, and consequently, no organic transition from one plane to another exists. Nevertheless, transition is possible as a result of the fulfillment of two conditions: a) full inner existence of the fateful "I" pressuring man to extricate himself from meaninglessness; b) the sufficient condition is transcendental, i.e., the source of man's destiny lies in God, this being the sole guarantee that the path of destiny does not reflect that of fate. The dialectical transition from a sense of fate to one of destiny reflects the dynamic axis about which revolves the life of the man of faith. The experience of the fateful "I" places man in a state of destructive loneliness, preventing his from fulfilling his mission. Extrication from this isolation is possible only through friendship, and companionship is the result of the activity of God, who commands friendship. We thus see that it is of a dialectic nature, constituting part of the domain of destiny. Friendship is an existential need composed of the negation of the rule of blind fate on the one hand, and the affirmation of a life permeated with a sense of destiny, on the other. The realization of a mission in the life of an individual deviates from the "I—Thou" relationship, penetrating to the particular "I". Thus, it would seem that the man bearing a mission too suffers from aloneness. However, this is not a destructive sort of loneliness, but rather a sense of solitude whose source is in the unique greatness of the man who fulfills his aim. In the course of the article, we shall examine the difference in the respective approaches of Buber and Soloveitchik to the "I—Thou" relationship. The former holds that this relationship is identical with human reality, while according to the latter, the relationship is but a necessary condition in the transition from loneliness to solitude.
Translated title of the contributionThe Loneliness of the Man of Faith in the Philosophy of Soloveitchik
Original languageHebrew
Pages (from-to)247-257
JournalDaat: A Journal of Jewish Philosophy & Kabbalah
Volume3
StatePublished - 1978

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