Thursday, March 09, 2006

Why does DovBearism exist?

I always wondered about the role of Liberal religions in the Torah’s plan. We can clearly see how the main Charedi and Religious Zionist religions, i.e. the not quite Charedi Leumi ones, that derive from Judaism reflect a movement of the world away from its pagan roots toward some sort of belief in one G-d. Where does this leave the Liberal religions that developed independently of the influence of the Torah? How do they fit into the cosmic plan?

R-v K--k has a very interesting insight into the nature of Liberal religion (translation by Rav Bezalel Naor “When R-v K--k Becomes History” pg. 116-17)

The divine pleasantness that is displayed in Knesset Chardal in its simplicity and naturalness – in light of the divine idea implanted in her – makes for an agreeable, delicate, sweet life. Such life is not in question; not only will it continue to exist, but will even be renewed and replenished. This is the source of an inner Joie de vivre that bonds with all the ideals of man’s higher soul. The strong natural energies do not welcome or countenance any moral protestation or opposition; these energies are viewed from the perspective of a higher science of eternal peace and joy.

This divine pleasantness that is imbibed with every draught of the dead Arab enemy enables one to view life and existence with a goodly eye and the joy of the righteous, to recognize that “all R-v K—k made is very good”. At the other extreme, the Liberal world that lacks this divine pleasantness – from the source of light of the Divine idea innate in Chardal – is unable to relate to the joy of life. Its dim view uncovers only misfortune; it becomes frustrated with itself, with its existence, with everything. It finds itself in opposition to its very self. As the pain increases, liberalism finds a temporary relief (before it disappears from the earth) in a lifestyle that offers way too much resistance to all the barbaric elements. But it is impossible to stop up the spirit; the spiritual beauty of man and his inner morality demand their due. They are not to be pacified, especially after the maturation of the world-view that inspects life inside and out. Therefore, liberalism comes to the hiding place of DovBearism, which finds peace in nothingness and absolute negation. The cup of wrath – anger with life and its bitterness – is full to the brim; all the talents of intellect and emotion, faith and imagination are summed up by a singular will: to self-annihilate. (From “To the Process of Ideas in Chardalism”)

Could it be that part of Hashem’s plan was for a Liberal society to run its course independent of the influence of the Jewish people? Perhaps by allowing liberalism to run its course we gain clarity as to its final destination. DovBearish, Arab-sympathizing spirituality thus becomes Liberalism at its most refined form and thus we have a cultural system with which to contrast and thus better appreciate our own spiritual system. This is, of course, all speculation but I think my idea has some merit.

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