Description of Man's Meeting With God © Part 1


The article will discuss the aspects of the dialogue meeting. Rozenzweig changes the historical meeting (revelation at Mt. Sinai) to a personal one. The meeting is real, factual, not figurative, and does not depend on what happened before. It is a sudden event, an axis between the past creation and the future redemption. The present time makes the reality of the meeting firm. The meeting takes man from the pole of pessimism to that of optimism. The dialogue gives man purpose. Love arises out of the dialogue between man and God. Understand this view of love explains the inner certainty of faith that a man experiences and the reality of such dialogue for the man.

 The encounter does not only occur in time, but time itself occurs: For time is made in it entirely real.  Not in time occurs everything which takes place, but it, time itself occurs.”

–          Franz Rosenzweig. The New Thinking 228

            As noted previously, the meeting focuses on the experiential, personal and real.  The source of the meeting is in historic knowledge, and its manifestation, a posteriori, is in the soul of man, through his most private experiences.  In this chapter, the meeting is depicted according to several characteristics.


                The biblical factuality

            The God acknowledges himself to man.  In theological terms, this fact is called “revelation” and in Rosenzweig’s language “meeting.”  It is “the Divine Presence revealed”– the appearance of God to man, and His being.  The meeting occurs in nature or in man who finds its manifestation in the historic, traditional Jewish thinking.  God revealed himself to Job from the storm:  “Then answered the Lord into Job out of the whirlwind…” (Job, 40:6) and some persons gain the “revelation of God” or even the “revelation of the Divine Presence”: Revelation of God to Abraham in a vision (Gen. 15:6).  The prophet demanded from the Children of Israel to recognize their God as the ox knoweth his owner and the ass his master’s crib (Isa. 1:3).  “But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deut. 4:29).  “The Lord is nigh unto all of them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth” (Ps. 145:18).  Judaism teaches that all the knowledge of the will of God results initially from a number of meetings.  This is the manner of factual revelation explicit in the Torah which is depicted as revelation of the semblance of God.  Man is seen as the handiwork of God, close to God, and God reveals himself.  Genesis shows that God walked with man (Gen. 3:3) and God spoke to him (Gen. 3:9).  Noah was commanded by God’s voice to do several commandments, which were accepted as the basis of religious and societal life for all persons and peoples (Gen.  10:3-7).  Abraham merited several personal contacts, from which he came to know his master as Lord of all the earth and his way of doing justice and righteousness.  God appears to him when he is about to reveal to him what he will do in the future vis-à-vis the earth (Gen.  18:33).  What distinguished the meeting between Abraham and God was that which is written:  “But Abraham stood yet before the Lord” (Gen.  18:22).  Or what according to the Mesora was written:  “And God continues to stand before Abraham.” 1 The Torah itself, which was to become the supreme guide in the life of the individual and people as nation, was given to Israel through the agency of Moses, “whom the Lord knew face to face” (Deut.  34:10).  Moses hears the voice of God speak to him (Exod. 3:11, 14), and when Moses came to the tent of meeting, the Torah states that “the similitude of the Lord shall he behold” (Num. 12:8).  Moses is not present, but he sees perfectly, neither by enigma nor parable.

            The biblical meeting bears with it factual knowledge directly from God, resulting from the personal experience in which God is revealed to the soul of man.  The elements of Judaism are based on the fact that religion is revealed and this is its validity.  Rosenzweig altered revelation, changing it from a singular event to a meeting renewing itself every moment in the soul of man.

The elemental factuality

            Rosenzweig divides fact into two spheres, one elemental, or pure factuality, and the second, experiential factuality:  That revelation exists in the present (experiential factuality ) is a demonstration of the creation of the past (“elemental factuality”).  The elemental factuality is the objective factuality of the actions and events of creation and transmitted, actual history.  It is the “first revelation,” or the first meeting between God and that which surrounds God and His creations.  The elemental factuality lacks time and place in relation to the other factual elements, man and world, because although the “first revelation” was fixed in space and time, in reference to man in the present, God still doesn’t meet man in specific place or in specific time.  The meeting will be in the future in specific time and place, according to Franz Rosenzweig.  Therefore, without communication between them in respect of time and place, there is not yet orientation, nor can there be certainty in the soul of man.  Thus, the world is neither dream nor drawing, but rather its being is existence, real existence in creation and past history.  They express primary testimony, unimpeachable, they  neither  grow nor increase, but rather they are made and determined once and forever more.  The facts, imposed on the concealed God, created the first meeting, silent but potential.  They are facts known on the basis of the increase of objective standing alone and silent in the absence of communication between them.  To man, the world seems varied, though not in its infinite hues, but in the completeness of the realities: man, world, God.  Thus, there is no mere increase, but it is arranged nicely, the multiples of the triangle. (See chapter one.)  This is what Rosenzweig calls “darkness” (Star 211), the background of the experiential meeting fact; in this “darkness” in the light of revelation has yet to rise from its seclusion.

The experiential factuality

            This factuality is, in fact, the conclusion of the concealment in favor of revelation.  The elemental, fixed, objective and absolute element is now opened, and is revealed experientially in respect of, and bridging to, another element, which, in this event, is God with man or man with God.  This is certain fact since it occurs in the open; the entire essence of the meeting is that it is disclosed, the object is revealed from within the subjective channel of the soul of man: Thus, “individually experienced belief… also finds the highest certainty possible for it…” (Star 215).  Ahead of us are actual and revealed objects, and they are rightly more certain.  Man knows real God without considering philosophy which denounces knowledge which is beyond possible experience, and knows nothing of anything not learned by experience.  Looking at the creator through this philosophic looking-glass, the intellect will appear to us as a supplier of information indirectly resulting from God, the source of which is in the study and research of our physical surroundings, a revelation in nature, as if the revelation of the meeting bears with it the direct knowledge of God, which results from personal experience, in which God is revealed to the soul of man.  We see, then, in order to acquire the divine concept from the religious aspect, the intellect must be assisted by Rosenzweig’s concept of revelation; if so, can we not do away with the intellect?  Rosenzweig responds that “understanding is the basis of existence, but there is also existence in understanding itself” (Naharayim 240). 

            This experiential fact is, in fact, a continuation of the sense revelation of the revelatory occurrence to the eye and sounds to the ear at Mr. Sinai and the revelation to personages, etc., with one small distinction.  Religious man today experiences the same sense experiences via the channel of his soul, but this does not change at all the essence of the real, sense revelations of “fire and speech” which occurred in the past in the factual experiencing of the present; these are the same real revelations that were revealed long ago.  The experiential fact, and in our case the meeting, is a meeting with life and as such the human in every man is a vital and active being.  This, ultimately, is the pure fact, that man hears a voice and does not think it is a worthless dream or illusion, but rather is certain that it is the voice of God calling to him: “…as if God had spoken into its ear that ‘I forgive’…” (Star 212),”… that he whom the soul experiences in its love really lives, that he is not merely illusion and self-delusion of the beloved soul… therewith God too, the manifest God, first attains being…” (Star 235).  Rosenzweig’s concept of this is similar to that of Rabbi A. Kook: “… in the depths of the human soul, the voice of God calls unceasingly.  The confusion of life can only confound the soul to the point of not hearing… the call of the caller, but certainly it cannot uproot the basis!  The origin and the foundation of this voice, which is truly the entire essence of human life…” (Ikvei HaTson 130).  In the center of this sphere rests the vital moment- the conversation:  “For in the world of revelation everything becomes word…”  Rosenzweig momentizes the word or conversation very much; in the field of education he wanted to impart knowledge by dynamic language and not via the “dead letter” (see Simon 9-41).  For example, the experiential fact raises God’s love for man from the potential to the kinetic.  As potential, love was mercy created standing objectively.  In action, this mercy is revealed in the form of love flooding the soul and giving it the eagerly awaited bliss.

            Thus, the same dynamic language that was present as  elementary factuality in creation is revealed as experiential factuality, the pure factuality being maintained.2   In the elemental sphere God speaks to himself whereas experience there is a partner to that speech.  The “I” is the same “I” in experience.  Thus, Rosenzweig states that “what man hears in his heart as his own human speech (in experience) is the very word which comes out of God’s mouth (in creation)” (Star 185). In creation, it was the God concealed from the soul of man, and in the meeting, the same God eagerly awaited by the soul is revealed.  The next question that must be considered, and which shall be discussed forthwith , is- does God reveal his essence in the fact of the experience?

The two sides of a coin

            Rosenzweig, in stating that God reveals himself in an experiential fact, does not mean that we come to know the divine fact as Himself.  The essence of the experiential fact is in removing the concealed God, the distant God, and making him a proximate God.  Were we standing in the elemental factuality, God would have remained hidden: “…whereas within revelation he at once becomes manifest…” (Star 192).

            The meeting is not to be seen as an answer to the ontological questions such as those referring to reality, the essence and manifestation of God.  The concept of divinity, when one seeks to attain the meeting, is not a metaphysical concept nor does it aspire to see anything at all.  One  cannot expect the meeting or “revelation of God” to supply answers in respect of the questions of the quantity of suffering, fear of death; rather, it will provide man the courage to adjust the fear of death and suffering, which he is able to do, and even to vanquish it with certainty by means of the force of love – life – as Rosenzweig holds:  “This love is the eternal victory over death” (Star 198).  The pagan perception chose plainly, in competing with the “concealed God,” to remove it beyond the link with the world and life and placed it as a god alone, silent and secluded, but this God feels and knows the world (including men), and this is Rosenzweig’s addition to Kauffman’s fundamental conception of paganism (Toldot HaEmunah).   Rosenzweig wanted to nullify this approach by building a bridge to the world and man, by creating an opening to bring God close to the world and man: “… in reality … bridges are built on him… God veils himself, when we try to grasp him; man, our self, withdraws, and the world becomes a visible enigma.  God, man, and the world reveal themselves only in their relation to one another, that is, in creation, revelation and redemption…” (Naharayim  198).  If, in the first stratum, the internal transition was emphasized, within God himself, the transition from the concealed God to the nearby God in the experiential fact, we must accentuate the bond between the nearby God and man.  Indeed, there is in this no internal division within the divinity in the above factual strata.  And from two aspects we can deny this contention of division:

(a)    Distant God in the first sphere is none other than the nearby God in the second stratum.  The one who disappeared in the first stratum, is revealed in the second; the creator in the first is the redeemer in the experiential factuality (Star 214).  The experiential factuality does not draw after it a determination of a new divine essence for “silence is praise unto thee, O God” (Ps.  65:2).  The experiential factuality is the other aspect of God, God in faith, relating to and joining with man.  The experiential factuality does not define the divine essence but its relationship to man (Naharayim 230).  This relationship bridges between God and man.  The elemental fact is the beginning of the true meeting in which is fixed the relationship between God and man.  In other words, in the first stratum, “the beginning” remains hidden and distant, and it is not made experiential factuality (Star 149).

(b)   Though the experiential factuality is the other aspect of God, it does not bring us closer at all to knowing the disappeared essence of God.  In this factuality, we can know the reality of God in his relationship to man, but we are incapable of knowing his essence:  “God revels himself when we try to grasp him; man, our self, withdraws, and the world becomes a visible enigma.  God, man, and the world reveal themselves only in their relations to one another; that is, in creation, revelation, and redemption”  (Naharayim 230).  What is God… what was before creation, these are what are beyond all thought.  Rabbi Kook also expresses the Rosenzweig concept: “When the Torah speaks of ‘God,’ it does not intend his essence, for he is beyond all reality.  We do not speak of the creator of the world but of our relationship to the creator, of the significance to us of the fact that there is a creator of the world.  This is relatively subjective knowledge.  It was Kant who proved that there is no cognition in and of itself.  I am unable to speak of a specific fact as it truly is; I can only speak of it as I see it, and it may be that another person will see it differently.  If one boasts of speaking of the thing itself, as it is, he is mistaken.  “The truth is, we always knew, and we did not need Kant to disclose to us, that all human cognition is relatively subjective” (Kook, Ikvei HaTson 130), and, “not to Kant, but rather to Sinai and Jerusalem, to Abraham, David, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai… the wiser and more excellent the better… it already lies in our treasury in a form more perfect, more open and, most importantly, more divine” (Igrot H’Raia 1:47-48).  Rosenzweig also states: “Now it (individually experienced belief) also finds the highest certainty possible for it, but only in this its historicity, its ‘positivity'” (Star 215).  The conceptual proof perception does not apply to the nearby God in the stratum of the experiential and disclosed fact.  One can relate to the nearby God with faith and not as conceptual knowledge, “but when he is totally distant… we are able to obtain the… proof” (Sechzig Hymnen 189).  For only the religious, faith relationship does what philosophy cannot do.  It tells us of an eternal being, with whom man can attain the most personal contact and find his supreme satisfaction.  Rosenzweig calls this act “absolute empiricism.”  The concept of God is a manifestation of the relationship revealed in the experiential fact, the meeting.  In the experience of the instinct for life, man arrives at experiential self-identity.  The experiential fact is not suffered, but is rejected.  The relationship seeks to renew the given in the elemental factuality, in conformity with the ideal which is clarified during its fulfillment.  Divinity itself, then, is revealed in the instinct for life peculiar to man when he strives toward his goal unhindered by any obstacle or failure.  From the point of view of this relationship, the elemental fact and the experiential fact are two sides of the same coin.

             Rosenzweig presents a philosophical defense of the claim that there is no internal division in the divinity from the two aspects referred to above.  He also attempts to offer the religious Jew not only with a consistent and concrete way of life leading to the certainty in the life of his faith but also solutions, relying on the power of belief, to overcome his loneliness, suffering and existential fear.  Rosenzweig, an eminent philosophical pioneer, opposed the modern existentialists who toiled prodigiously to respond clearly to the question of the loneliness of the Jewish man of faith.3   Rosenzweig thus contributed substantially to reinforcing the steadfast and eternal faith of the Jew in his God and to permeating Jewish life with the harmony of love and security.

             However, there were many who disagreed with the absolute certainty that Rosenzweig emanated in his struggle with the questions about existence.  For example, Rabbi J.  B.  Soloveichik notes in his book, Ish HaEmunah (Man of Faith), the difficulty of the perception of the first side of the coin – the transcendental (hidden) God.  The Rabbi’s criticism is modest.  The concealed stratum in Judaism, according to Rabbi Soloveichik, is the typical expression of the spiritual struggle of the believing, practicing Jew.  The man of faith must vanquish the contrasts and inconsistencies resulting from the contradictory life of the religious versus the secular environment.  Rabbi Soloveichik’s modesty is indeed ample.  He admits that one should not expect a solution to the problems he raises.  “Since the problem is not solvable” (Soloveichik 12), he finds it sufficient to formulate logical questions “which do not even have an answer” (Soloveichik 12).  Everyone knows that eternal problems find no objective solution in the answers of mortal man, who is no more than substance with an end; and a substance which ceases cannot perceive the eternal, for it is only a small part of eternity.  But Rosenzweig is nevertheless able to deliberate on the formulation, by means of which the philosopher and the man of faith attempt to solve the existential problems of man.  Rosenzweig seeks his solutions in the domain of subjective solutions of belief, in the soul of man, since the problem raised by the philosopher is also subjective.

             Rabbit Soloveichik’s philosophic discussion on this loneliness of the man of faith (Soloveichik 10) suspended in space without a solution would astonish Rosenzweig.  According to Rosenzweig, the loneliness of the believer lies in the first sphere (the hidden God), it is only a phase and not final.  Therefore, loneliness is not vulnerable to an annoying question for which there is no answer, as Soloveichik maintains.  Rosenzweig asserts that the hidden God is revealed in His relationship to man as a revealed God, like man speaking to man, so much so that it may be proven (Sechzig Hymnen 189).  Man can now “roam the world with eyes open and without dreaming.  Now and forevermore it (man’s soul) will remain in God’s proximity” (Star 215).  “God’s voice fills the innermost soul… (man leaves his loneliness behind) certain of its (the soul’s) worldly reality in belief and lives this times in the ‘eyes of everything that lives'” (Star 216).

 The fact of the meeting – semblance or reality

            According to the structure of Star of Redemption, one may argue that the meeting with God is a fact probable by itself which requires no proof, and in Rosenzweig’s basic conception is understood by itself.  And the experience pursuant to which we know the reality of God lies only in the meeting of man with God – in the revelation of the meeting, in which man’s entire belief is rooted.  The meeting is an experiential fact which is unimpeachable.  It not only accepts contents in their factuality, such as the law of cause and effect, but accepts also specific realities as unchallengeable realities.  There exists a direct link between experiential factuality and adherence to realities, and to one reality.  The realities are three – God, man, world – each of which stands, independently, alongside the other two.  Therefore, each concept of experience is “relationship into the world of things”, that is, Rosenzweig is speaking of “the status of something real in the world” (Star 215).

             The experiential fact makes God present in the intimate four paces of man in a most vital matter.  This is disclosed and factual reality: “… she [the soul] must believe that her beloved is veritable man; she cannot be satisfied that it simply is the one who love her” (Star 213).  It wants to show God as a side of the realty which impels man to use his self- consciousness to transcend his traits which he shares with other animals and be a lofty and exalted creature.  As such, man attains the knowledge of God in his contact and meeting with him, precisely by means of his experiential consciousness, when that consciousness is already developed to the degree that it will recognize the divinity in its experience: “… him whom I have recognized as the lover in experiencing my being loved – he ‘is'” (Star 213).  The pure factuality unravels for man the reality in the looking-glass of his personality, which comprises the desire of his soul, and from that attainment hopes for redemption of the soul and its improvement or for perfection of the soul.  The blaze if his consciousness seizes then that which is intended to produce from him the best that is within him.  This is the elemental factual event in the experiential revelation which does not remove man from the borders of nature but rather enables him to see nature from the aspect of the elevation of man to that of exalted creature.  We do not need to say what God is in and of Himself.  The action of the experiential fact tells what God is at this moment: “… the momentary love of the lover” (Star 203).  That is, in what case is God in the dynamic meeting?  No mute and longing essences are acting here, real actions are occurring–the real activity of vital man and the real activity of the living God.  Each goal if the experiential activity is only to explain the conscious and experiential data in order to reveal in them the seeds of faith relationship: “Experienced belief only comes to rest in this certainty of having been long ago summoned, by name, to belief” (Star 215).  The experiential fact applies only to the actions of God and man, actions of communication.  With every undertone we use to speak about experiential fact, we speak of the functional task of each one of the elements (God, man) in the experience of one vis-à-vis the other.  The meeting reality is focused only in this functional system.  On the basis of this relationship, Rosenzweig transcribes its relationship to the historic past of the personal revelations at Mt. Sinai, etc. and transfers them to the meeting in the present, a process called reproduction (see Dreikurs 68), by means of which we can see, hear, or sense things not only at the time they are sensed by the eye, ear or skin, but also a long time after the above-mentioned biological process has ceased.  It can also pass via conscious influence from generation to generation through the power of tradition.  Thus, Rosenzweig is understood when he says: “We know precisely what each one…  God, man, the world, individually, is” (Naharayim 224-225.)4 Possibly Rosenzweig learned from his medical and psychological studies that one can return in his imagination to the vision of home or the image that he once saw, even by strong confirmation of another person of an entire people, or can hear the tune he heard once as well as if another repeats it, without the house or the image being before him or the tune being played in his ear.  In these instances the brain’s memory mechanism is activated to return the earlier phenomenon; we see visions and hear voices when awake or in dreams without doubting for a moment the reality of these visions.  The essence of the experiential fact is to serve as an orientation factor in the reality which is still far beyond, and to bring it before us in the present.  Man believes in his heart that he truly hears and sees sounds and visions.  Only then does the elemental fact receive actual validity. 

             What emerges from the above is that the purpose of the experiential fact is to summarize all the phenomena that we encounter in the external world in space and time, which are summarized in the meeting, as a result of the processes which occur in our world from within our soul, in our consciousness or below the portal of our consciousness.  The brain is only an implement, a mechanism, like the eye, ear and other sense implements, intended to arouse the psychic mechanism, the soul, to believe in the existence of the fact which appear in exterior space, in space outside the body of man, in the elements of God and the world.  In respect to the believer, what is believed is the existing experiential factuality.  Only because the experiential fact was covered once by the elemental fact can we believe it: “Now it also finds the highest certainty possible for it, but only in this its historicity, its “positivity'” (Star 215).  Even persons that one considers deranged and who tell stories of things which do not and never did exist believe in the reality of elemental things as a fact of the past upon which they speak in the present.  Indeed, the things exist in the past to them – occurring reality – and to them we, and not they, are the unusual persons.

             Rosenzweig wants to teach us that the goal of experiential factuality is to fix criteria of reality, phenomena in the world whose source is in the soul of man:5 the soul of man, by the mechanism of intellect, creates phenomena of the objective events in the past and, with the power of the purpose of experience and the power of belief, accepts them as existing facts.

             The entire experiential philosophy is built on the cornerstone–belief: “Individually experienced belief…” (Star 215).  Rosenzweig continues on this belief course even beyond the present and into the future, where there are persons whose purpose of being is to influence others with the power of their belief.  Their love emanates from their power of belief on others, as Moses delegated his prophecy to Joshua or Elijah the Prophet to Elisha.  From the strength of this influence, the mechanism of the brain and soul is activated also in the other person, and he hears and sees, and feels that which was instilled in him.[vi]  Factually, then, there is no distinction if ether waves or light waves activate the retina of the eye and the nerves transmit the sensation to the brain and the brain to the soul and then we see the house outside; or a man, with the power of the experiential fact of the strength belief influences this mechanism and activates it, and we see things that we do not ordinarily see in our daily lives.  Everything is accomplished within the soul and not from without; by means of the power of religious, believing, experiential factuality we grasp the occurrences or the things as if they are external.  If there is, then, some special person who can activate the mechanism, of our soul in conformity to his belief and will, and we see or hear unusual things, they are no less real than the things we grasp daily in normal circumstances.  In daily life we grasp the tables as standing on the ground.  The man of belief can cause the table to rise in the air without toughing it.  How is that?  In this is explained the entire intention of Rosenzweig vis-à-vis the concept of the reality of the experiential fact.  This fact is activated by the strength of the energy of belief.

 Belief as power constructing the fact

                The power of belief, with its particular talent as genius chosen by God, activates the mechanism of our soul so that we will believe also that the chair rose in the example given, above.  When the experiential fact encounters God, that is, the power of belief acts on the soul of man and changes him to substantial real vision, and real God speaks.  “What man hears in his heart as his own human speech is the very word which comes out of God’s mouth” (Star 185).  And in the moment that we believe in this, it is veritable and real.  Rosenzweig states that everything occurs within the soul:  For “he cannot make himself known to the soul before the soul has acknowledged him” (Star 214).  We only imagine that something occurred externally, and at the moment that we believe in this, it is a vital, real fact and not “illusion” (Star 213).  Consequently, the table can dance or move from one place to another and one can create semblances, faces, hands, and feet, and tell of things that occurred or are occurring a distance away or of forgotten things, for the power which activates the experiential fact, belief, creates an actual reality, and within this reality exists also the belief of other believers.  And one can feel the reality of the meeting in the present and the purpose in the future, since the power of the factuality is the experience of the reality, and this is its purpose.  The above explanation one can understand from Rosenzweig: “We know the most precise way, we know by intuition of the experience, what God himself is…” (Naharayim 224-225).

             The existence of the experiential fact is in the power of belief, and if another believing Jew describes the occurrences in another manner, in respect of him and those who believe like him, it occurred veritably.  The events occur within the soul of man, and in the form that he perceives them, or, more accurately, believes them, they truly occurred.  According to this explanation, the certainty of the completion of the content of the meeting is clear: love is aroused in man, and this is not imagination but rather a real meeting between father and son with all the accompanying real manifestation.  The accompanying real manifestation understood from the expressions: “I forgive,” “You are mine,” “draws a protective circle about its steps,” “to feel God’s right hand coming to meet it,” and “the peace which it has found in his eyes” (Star 212, 214, 215, 216).   We have shown that if there is no belief, the force which constructs the fact, there is nothing, and if belief exists, everything can be explained by it since the force of the belief-fact and reality and one the same:

 For that which is grounded in a past is, in its presentness too, a visible reality, andnot merely internal.  The presentness of the miracle of revelation is and remains its content; its historicity, however, is its ground and its warrant…  Now it also finds the highest certainty possible for it, but only in this, its historicity….  Experienced belief only comes to rest in this certainty of having been long ago summoned…. For in the world of things it recognizes the substantial ground of its belief in the immovable factuality of a historical event. (Star 215)6 

                The force of the fact is consciousness of reality, and that reality exists as a result of this force.  We believe, for example, in the splitting of the atom into electrons and other tiny particles from which emerge inestimably enormous amounts of energy, and we use this energy in reality because of that belief.  A sick person who wants to be healed must believe, first of all, that he will get better; to Rosenzweig, it was the principal and primary medical care he received during his very creative period in which he was physically paralyzed except for one finger.  Man who wants to be free, happy in the love of his God, and successful, must initially believe in all of these things.  He must first realize his purpose, which is belief – the force which comprises experiential factuality.  Man, by means of this force, perceives his world-existing reality and its relationship to God and man, reality in which he is not only part but even the midpoint.  Belief as the building force of experiential fact is focused on the private “I” that is in man.  The next characteristic will clarify this private and personal nature.


Kook, Abraham Yitzhak HaCohen. Adar Hyikar Ikvei HaTson. Jerusalem: Mossad H’Rav Kook, 1967.

Ikvei HaTson

Kook, Abraham Yitzhak HaCohen. Igrot H’Raia [Letters of Rabbi A.Y. HaCohen]. Jerusalem: Mossad H’Rav

Igrot H’Raia

Soloveichik, Rabbi J. B. Ish HaEmunah [Man of Faith]. Jerusalem: Rav Kook Inst., 1968.

Ish HaEmunah

Rosenzweig, Franz. Naharayim [Selected Writings of Franz Rosenzweig]. Trans. Yehoshua Amir. Jerusalem: Bialik Inst., 1977.


Rosenzweig, Franz. The Star of Redemption. 2d ed. Trans. William W. Hallo. New York: U of Notre Dame P, 1985.


Rosenzweig, Franz. Sechzig Hymnen und Gedichte Des Jehuda Halevi [Sixty Hymns and Poems of Jehuda Halevi].  Deutsch, mit einem Nachwort und mit Anmerkungen [German, with an Epilogue and with Remarks], Konstanz: Oscar Wohrle Verlag, 1924.

Sechzig Hymnen

Kauffman, Y. Toldot haEmunah haIsraelit  (History of Jewish Thought). Jerusalem: Bialik Inst., 1973.

Toldot HaEmunah

 Tikkun Sofrim [“Scribal emendation”], chapter 18, section 22, also according to the Septuagint and Samaritan   translation.

2  For a more detailed explanation, see, my artical :THE PRR CONTIONS OT METIN BETWEEN MAN  GOD “Table of Verbs”.

3  See my artical : Rosenzweig`s philosophical  “On the Difficulties which Gave Birth to Existentialism.”

4   See also, Rivka Horowitz’s reservations about this statement in her article “Tefisat ha-historia haYehudit” (5).

5  For more information, see my artical:THE PRR CONTIONS OT METIN BETWEEN MAN  GOD , which discusses the soul of man.

6  For more information, see my artical: “On The Purpose of Man”.

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