16th Oct 2019

One believes because he has taken over the faith of his fathers, and his faith is strong. The other has arrived at faith through thinking and studying. The difference between them is this: The advantage of the first is that, no matter what arguments may be brought against it, his faith cannot be shaken; his faith is firm because it was taken over from his fathers. But there is one flaw in it: he has faith only in response to the command of man, and he has acquired it without studying and thinking for himself. The advantage of the second is that, because he found God through much thinking, he has arrived at a faith of his own. But here too there is a flaw: it is easy to shake his faith by refuting it through evidence. But he who unites both kinds of faith is invincible. And so we say, “Our God” with reference to our studies, and “God of our fathers” with an eye to tradition. The same interpretation has been given to our saying, “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob,” and not “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” for this indicates that Isaac and Jacob did not merely take over the tradition of Abraham; they themselves searched for God. ● Ten Rungs: Hasidic Sayings ed. Martin Buber trans. Olga Marx


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