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December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
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Human Destiny And The Jewish People


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In a related sense the people Israel is that unconsumed fire. The Jews as a collective are like an incessant flame striving upwards; and because their G-d-directed devotion and curiosity are unabated, G-d looks down to engage their look – and to sustain them. If “fire” can symbolize time, whose passage “consumes” our individual mortal lives, the lifetime of immortal Israel is not consumed.”

This is how the author sees the role of the Jewish people vis-à-vis mankind: “A people came into existence that connected heaven and earth in a viable synthesis. This interesting people, who have continued to teach that freedom should be cherished as a gift from G-d, were promised a land of light and honey. They would be free to roam within the realm of ideas, and through allegiance to the Torah become a source of spiritual enlightenment for all mankind.”

In one of his many allusions to the role of the Jewish presence in the world, Dr. Faier memorably writes: “Ignited at Sinai, the Jew is a flame connecting heaven and earth. We leap to the stars, higher yet: ‘higher than high’ (Ecclesiastes 5:7), and descend to the ashes. Our people are acknowledged by history as the aspiration in man to walk with G-d. But we are constantly tested. Now exile, now redemption; now the Absence, now the Presence; we live in counterpoint. The Jew in human affairs is as one of the physical constants in nature, and his destiny is chronicled in Holy Scripture.”

Finally, in a section entitled “Jerusalem,” Dr. Faier pays tribute to the holy city where he lived and worked so happily. in these prophetic lines: “Jerusalem is ‘perfection of beauty’ (Psalms 50:2). Jerusalem is the light of the world, and G-d is the light of Jerusalem. Jerusalem deserves its name when awe before G-d and peace unite the people. Ten measures of beauty came into the world. Jerusalem took nine measures; one was taken by the rest of the world. Together, these teachings make it evident that Jerusalem was given nine measure of beauty because great beauty properly goes together with awe of G-d…

“…When the physical beauty of Jerusalem becomes fully “joined” with the moral and ethical beauty of all its inhabitants, the fulfillment of the prophecy that humanity “will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks (Isaiah 2-4) will take place.”

Despite its modest size, this work will appeal to a wide readership because of the unique and rare wisdom, range and beauty of the ideas and concepts illuminating its pages. It is a fitting memorial to a remarkable Jew and human being.

Available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/book-reviews/human-destiny-and-the-jewish-people/2012/10/17/

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