Monday, March 2, 2015

Experiencing Gd


"If we speak of experiencing Gd, and if by this we understand the ecstatic encounter of a man quivering with passion and tenseness, then one cannot consider the ethical or noetical act as capable of engendering such an experience. For the ethical and the cognitive, the rendezvous with the Creator is a quiet sedate one. There is, in fact, no actual meeting. A real encounter is never achieved by the scientist or the ethicist. For them, there is only, if we may use a metaphor of Yehudah Halevi, an exchange of epistles; the contact is established in an impersonal way, through correspondence. The medium through which this type of contact is attained is the natural law and moral norm.

"Only the aesthetic experience, if linked with the idea of the exalted, may bring man directly into contact with Gd, living, personal, and intimate. Only through coming in contact with the beautiful and exalted may one apprehend Gd instead of comprehending Him, feel the embrace of the Creator, and the warm breath of infinity hovering over a finite creation. The reason for immediacy and impact implicit in the aesthetic experience is its sensuous character."

(Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, Exaltation of Gd and Redeeming the Aesthetic, Worship of the Heart pg. 59)

Have a great day,

1 comment:

  1. I think that only a select few can experience "the warm breath of infinity hovering over finite creation" Besides the RID Soloveitchik only MRAH in the cleft of the rock in this weeks Parasha.Only in Torat Harav Kook as explained by Rav Tzvi Yehudah' Rav Ha Nazir ZTZL and Rav Tau SHLITA is there a synthesis of the ecstasy of Chassidut and the aesthetic ideal of the Litvish mussar movement.(Perhaps one could include the Netivot Shalom of Slonim and the late great Lubavitcher Rebbe both ZTZL}.Anyway thanks for bringing the excerpt from RYD Soloveitchik ZTZL.