Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What Religion Doesn't Offer

"The error of modern representatives of religion is that they promise their congregants the solution to all the problems of life − an expectation which religion does not fulfill. Religion, on the contrary, deepens the problems but never intends to solve them. The grandeur of religion lies in its mysterium tremendum its magnitude and its ultimate incomprehensibility. To cite one example, we may adduce the problem of theodicy, the justification of evil in the world, that has tantalized the inquiring mind from time immemorial till this last tragic decade. The acuteness of this problem has grown for the religious person in essence and dimensions. 

When a minister, rabbi, or priest attempts to solve the ancient question of Job's suffering through as sermon or lecture, he does not promote religious ends, but, on the contrary, does them a disservice. The beauty of religion with its grandiose vistas reveals itself to men, not in solutions but in problems, not in harmony but in the constant conflict of diversified forces and trends." 

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, "Sacred and Profane", Gesher, Vol. 3, No. 1, p. 7 in Besdin, A, Reflections of the Rav, p. 224

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