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By Menahem Mendel, of Kotsk, 1787-1859., Menahem Mendel, of Kotsk, 1787-1859; Heschel, Abraham Joshua; Baʻal Shem Ṭov, approximately 1700-1760., Baʻal Shem Ṭov, approximately 1700-1760; Kierkegaard, Søren

ISBN-10: 0374229929

ISBN-13: 9780374229924

It is relatively effortless to evangelise pleasure and fervor, yet to call for fact is like shaping marble with out instruments. And so [the Kotzker] went searching for a couple of surging humans and known as loudly upon their souls to bend their conceit and spot the reality underneath the soil....

This used to be no longer a philosophical inquiry into the character of fact yet a scrutiny of men’s lives in relation to fact. faith, the Kotzker maintained, was once no longer easily an act of adopting a method of ideals and sure modes of behavior; try out and trial have been wanted, and one needed to ensure via introspection even if one’s ideals have been real or now not, and even if one acted out fact or lived a lifetime of pretense....

Kierkegaard made it his job “to reintroduce Christianity into Christendom.” The Kotzker sought to reintroduce authenticity to Jewish existence. Kierkegaard’s posthumous impression has been robust. yet has the Kotzker affected Jewish self-understanding?
―from A ardour for Truth

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Unabashed, he answered, "Really! " Once, while speaking of his Hasidic forebears, he did not even mention the Baal Shem Tov's name : "Do you know who I am? There was Rebbe Reb Dov Baer, Reb Shmelke, Rebbe Elimelekh, the Rebbe of Lub­ lin, the 'Holy Jew,' Rebbe Reb Bunam-and I am the seventh­ the quintessence of them all. " The Kotzker's disciple, known as "the Gerer," Reb Yitzhak Meir of Ger, held him to be as great as the Baal Shem. Until the time of the Great Master, the "Holy Jew" of Pshyskhe, all tzaddikim had sought to interpret the Baal Shem's doctrines.

They were obsessed by their material wants. Even in the synagogue they were moved to tears only while reciting the prayers for a livelihood. Yet they dared to dream of the luxuries to be enjoyed in the life to come. Their conceptions of Heaven were a travesty, a distortion. They devoured large portions of a�lwmen 2 and took pleasure in their own righteousness! They talked about the Messiah-but their lips were not worthy of even uttering His name. When they performed good deeds, they thought they were doing the Al­ mighty a favor.

Rabbi Shimon said : When God was about to create Adam, the ministering angels split into contending groups. " That is why it is written : "Mercy and truth collided, righteousness and peace engaged in a clash" (Psalms 8 5 : I I ). " What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do? He took Truth and cast it into the ground. 1 It seems that this parable haunted the Kotzker. Indeed, after all the heady discourses are over, the intoxication gone, one be­ gins to wonder : is Truth really buried in a grave? The parable openly declares once and for all that man's very existence is founded upon the tomb in which Truth is imprisoned.

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A passion for truth by Menahem Mendel, of Kotsk, 1787-1859., Menahem Mendel, of Kotsk, 1787-1859; Heschel, Abraham Joshua; Baʻal Shem Ṭov, approximately 1700-1760., Baʻal Shem Ṭov, approximately 1700-1760; Kierkegaard, Søren

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