By Jay M .Harris
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Extra info for Association for Jewish studies 2000-2001- 25
Kantdistinguished philosophical is the facultyby which and Reason. They buttools plurality,totality,causality)correspond of by whichthe mindorganizesthe manifold sense impressioninto an ordered whole. Lastly,Reasonpositsthese orderedimpressionsunderthe overarching ideationalpostulatesof God, world,and soul. In eithercase,the ideasof Reasonalongwiththe subsistfirst and foremostin a self-contained conceptsof the Understanding cognitivesystemof internalreference. Accordingto Kant, the pleasuretaken in judging things beautifulis Injudgingsomethingbeautiful,the humansubjectsays likewiseself-contained.
In particular, for the reasons I have just given, Heschel's "rhapsodicevocation" of the ineffable fails to secure the connection to unique historical revelation upon which Judaismand its understandingof its Bible are based. "35It would be more accurateto say that Heschel's rhetoricis both the strengthand the limitation of his theology. The strengthlies in its capacity to shake readersloose from their ordinary perceptions, to give them a sense that their instinctive modes of reasoningare too crampedand too mundane,and to presentthem with a view of something higher and deeper and an experiential access to the ineffable.
But withoutsomethinglargerthanhis own privateexperienceto whichto appeal,Heschelwouldbe unableto communicate the love,thejoy, andthemeaningthathe foundin Judaism. It is not reducibleto personalmysticismor to a noris it, as we haveseen, simplyone option meansof personalself-expression, of worth. amongmany equal Analyzedlogicallyandhistorically,Heschel'sargumentson behalfof the God of Israeland the literaturehe revealedare often problematicand raise questionsthat one wishes he had addressed,as I have tried to demonstrate.
Association for Jewish studies 2000-2001- 25 by Jay M .Harris