web analytics
July 26, 2014 / 28 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

What Happens When We Remove God From The Picture

When one denies the objective source of value, the very meaning of those values becomes problematic.
sunlightthroughthetrees.jpg

Equally, if not more devastating in its impact, were the proclamations of Freud, whose underlying presumptions as they’ve been incorporated into modern thinking were to destroy the concept of the free will of man in relation to himself. Our thoughts are no longer under our conscious control. Our actions derive not from rational, free will, but emerge from the unconscious interplay of forces and influences themselves determined by the circumstances of our life, beyond our control. Hence not only are our actions and thoughts determined entities, denying free will, but we cannot therefore be held responsible for the consequences of those thoughts or actions – “we cannot help ourselves.”

Subjectivism, relativism, psychoanalysis – all declare that there is no intrinsic value to all those efforts, all those achievements, all of those great thoughts we’ve added to the history of human life on earth. Everything’s OK, what’s true for you may not be true for me; nobody can tell me what’s right because, in general, there is no right or wrong, should or shouldn’t. We aren’t responsible, so we can’t be blamed. Great efforts, great dedication, what used to be called noble and virtuous and honorable – these are not pursued in the name of “I feel like it.”

Where there is no challenge to succeed, to pursue righteousness, to transform the world, there will be no success, no righteousness, no significant change. Civilization stops progressing because it no longer believes in the notion of the objective reality of progress.

This is what Judaism (and all other western God-based religions, to the extent that they partake of the same spirit) comes to correct. The existence of God and His historical revelation of His Presence and His Torah to us is the ultimate source of human freedom, of objective value and meaning in thought, speech, and action, and is the constant source of the hope and challenge that it is man’s opportunity to fulfill.

Why is God the answer? Because by definition He is wholly Other, not contained within nor capable of being expressed by human form or human conception. Because he is not only the immanent but also the transcendent God. The God of nature, who rules over the material-physical world, is also the God Who is above and beyond nature.

The whole of the Exodus story comes to teach, among other things, the existence and meaning of this God. Over and over Pharaoh denies knowing Hashem. Only Kel, the God who might be “stronger” than all the other “gods,” a god of nature, defined by, contained within, and obeying the laws of nature – this was conceivable. But the purpose of the Exodus was l’maan teida, in order that you should know YKVK,Hashem.

This declares the absolute freedom of man in this world. Since man was created in the image of God, some of Him is in all of us. This is thus the origin of our free will, and the guarantor that our perceptions in this world can be true in an absolute sense. God stands outside of man, having announced His presence, as an objective source of value and meaning.

Man does not free himself from “shackles from above” by throwing off the yoke of religion. He replaces the mandate of heaven to achieve greatness and fulfill his potential by the shackles of circumstance, of “historical necessity,” of dark, inaccessible, and unperceived emotional drives and passions, which strip all meaning from our actions, all self-respect from our thoughts, and all worth from our souls. Living, walking with God, is living in freedom, is walking in sunlight with hope.

About the Author: Dr. Lawrence Resnick was a professor of medicine at Cornell University Medical Center and one of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s personal physicians. He passed away 10 years ago this week – on the 15th of Iyar – at age 55. This essay is derived from one of several notebooks of writings he left behind.


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.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

One Response to “What Happens When We Remove God From The Picture”

  1. When we remove G-d we remove His love which is warmth
    Kindness,and the greatest closness to something u really can’t put into words. I know without G-d I feel lost. Like He’s your best friend. Like He makes you smile when you think about Him!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
John Kerry
Entire Israeli Cabinet Rejects Kerry’s Proposed Ceasefire, Talks Continue
Latest Indepth Stories
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

People test Israel every day to see how serious we really are in knowing when we are right.

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

More Articles from Dr. Lawrence Resnick
sunlightthroughthetrees.jpg

When one denies the objective source of value, the very meaning of those values becomes problematic.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/what-happens-when-we-remove-god-from-the-picture/2014/05/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: