web analytics
April 19, 2015 / 30 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Empathy, Suffering, And Human Survival: A Jewish Perspective


Beres-Louis-Rene

We may learn from Rabbi Kook, therefore, that empathy can indeed bring vast healing, and that such feeling “flows directly from the holy depth of the wisdom of the Divine soul.” Rabbi Kook’s thinking does not stand in stark or self-conscious opposition to rational investigation, nor does it oppose feeling to intellect. Instead, it identifies a creative tension between an abstract and too-formal intellectualism and a promising form of reason that lies far beyond the normal limits of abstract investigations.

Rabbi Kook envisioned humankind with a natural evolutionary inclination to advance and perfect itself. The course of this human evolution, he surmised, must be directed toward progressively increased spirituality. In the final analysis, the Torah is a concrete manifestation of the Divine Will on earth, and the people of Israel must play a cosmic and redemptive role in saving us all.

This role, however, is contingent upon fulfilling many substantial expectations (mitzvot), a fulfillment wherein the redemption of Israel will produce the redemption of all humanity. Here, Jewish nationalism is much more than a highly-valued secular ideology. It is a genuinely sacred phenomenon. This is well worth bearing in mind by both Jews and gentiles who would be dismissive of Israel’s special place among the nations.

Modern Israel occupies an especially honored place in the Divine scheme, and loyalty to Israel and to Israel’s security now represents nothing less than loyalty to all humankind. As goes Israel, so shall go the world. As Israel has the potential to become “the ideal essence of humanity,” it must now become an overriding Jewish imperative to safeguard the Jewish state not only for ourselves, as Jews, as Zionists, but also for the One indissoluble species as a whole.

In the end, this is likely the truest path to empathy and human survival on an endangered planet.

Louis René Beres, strategic and military affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, is professor of political science at Purdue University. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law and is the author of ten major books in the field. In Israel, Professor Beres was chair of Project Daniel.

About the Author: Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is professor of political science and international law at Purdue University and the author of many books and articles dealing with international relations and strategic studies.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Empathy, Suffering, And Human Survival: A Jewish Perspective”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Said Arikat, al-Quds Washington, D.C. reporter. Jan. 29, 2015
More PA Lobbying from the State Dept Briefing Room
Latest Indepth Stories
Temple Israel Of Boston

“The resentment towards us (Jews/Israelis) was really intense. They clearly hate Zionism & Zionists”

US has no problem with Egypt's bombing hundreds of homes of Gaza civilians but can't stand to see Israel destroy a terrorist's home.

Egypt has been more effective against Gazan smuggling tunnels than Israel’s military operations

Mrs. Golda Katz a"h

She had many names and was many things to many people, but to me she was just Babineni.

ISIS terrorist carries the group's black flag.

Is ISIS in Gaza? “No, but there are ISIS loyalists here..we pray to God they unite under ISIS’ flag”

Rabbi Portal was that great “inspirer,” changing people for the better, enriching the lives of all

Iran knows Obama, Putin, and the Europeans don’t have a Red Line beyond which they will go to war

There is no way to explain the Holocaust. I know survivors who are not on speaking terms with G-d. I know many who are the opposite. I have no right to go there…

When a whole side of your family perishes, friends become the extended family you do not have.

“We stand with Israel because of its values and its greatness and because its such a wonderful ally”

Mr. Obama himself inelegantly cautioned members of the Senate to be careful not to “screw up” the negotiations by seeking to have input into the future of the sanctions regime that has been imposed on Iran.

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

Mitchell Bard is nothing if not prolific. He has written and edited 23 books, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East” and “The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.” Bard, who has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA, is also the executive director of both the […]

Understanding the process described in Dayenu reveals deep relevance for us today.

For Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, the tanks, planes, and uniforms of the IDF were implements of mitzvot

More Articles from Louis Rene Beres

A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.

Louis Rene Beres

President Obama’s core argument on a Middle East peace process is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Once upon a time in America, every adult could recite at least some Spenglerian theory of decline.

President Obama’s core argument is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Specific strategic lessons from the Bar Kokhba rebellion.

Still facing an effectively unhindered nuclear threat from Iran, Israel will soon need to choose between two strategic options.

For states, as for individuals, fear and reality go together naturally.

So much of the struggle between Israel and the Arabs continues to concern space.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/empathy-suffering-and-human-survival-a-jewish-perspective/2012/01/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: