By Daniel C. Cohn-Sherbok
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Additional resources for A Traditional Quest: Essays in Honor of Louis Jacobs (JSOT Supplement)
Judant and Charles Journet, have all run ahead of the available evidence and the extant philosophical-theological argumentation to posit conclusions that are not epistemically or intellectually persuasive. Neither Rubenstein's endorsement of the 'death of God' nor the Lubavitcher's Rebbe's conservative kabbalistic pronouncements on the Sho'ah as a tikkun flow necessarily from the event itself. Both these, and other denominational expositions, are premature and inconclusive. 1 Any theological position, at present, is compatible with the singularity of the Sho'ah.
Traditional Jewish law, for instance, does not consider an abortion performed by a Jew murder but rather mandates an abortion when the mother's life, or according to some, even her basic mental health is at stake. At the same time, it rules, for reasons which are obscure at best, that Gentile abortions are murder. I quickly add that progressives need not necessarily be pro-abortion, though their high regard for the individual leads them here as elsewhere to make the decision of the person immediately involved, in this case, the mother, their primary concern.
As to the former, God being one, indeed incomparably so, any institution properly representing God will speak with hierarchical authority to its members. The will of the community may still have an important role in orthodoxies. At Sinai, for all that God spoke directly to the Jewish people and summoned them into Covenant, their willing assent was solicited and memorably gained. (One midrash explains the purpose of the first 'commandment' of the Decalogue, God's self-identification as the people's redeemer, as the data they needed to know with whom they were being asked to join in partnership).
A Traditional Quest: Essays in Honor of Louis Jacobs (JSOT Supplement) by Daniel C. Cohn-Sherbok