Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Mind and Beyond,By Tzvi Freeman

The Mind and Beyond
By Tzvi Freeman
Today's Western society is built on the foundations of two cultures: the Jewish and the Greek. Both treasured the human mind.
The Greeks reached the pinnacle of intellect at their time. But the experience of Mount Sinai had taught the Jew that there is something greater than the human mind. There is a G-d, indescribable and inexplicable. And, therefore, a world could not be built on human reason alone.
The idea annoyed the Greeks to no end. While they appreciated the wisdom of the Torah, they demanded that the Jews abandon the notion that it was something Divine.
Ethics, to an ancient Greek, meant that which is right in the eyes of society. To a Jew, it means that which is right in the eyes of G-d. The difference is crucial: Ethics built solely on the convenience of the time can produce a society where human beings are treated as numbers in a computer or where the central value is the accumulation of wealth. At its extreme, it can produce a Stalinist Russia or a Nazi Germany.
A healthy mind is one that recognizes that there will always be wonder, because G-d is beyond the human mind. And a healthy society is a balanced one, whose soil nurtures human accomplishment but whose bedrock is the ethical standard of an Eternal Being.

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