tradition

It is well known that our Christian Western tradition has long refused to accept the wisdom of the pagans on an equal footing with the body of revelation that it cherishes and worships as its own." The fact that there are virtue, wisdom, and inspiration to be found even among the historical enemies of Christianity.

Our tradition is one of protest and revolt, and it is stultifying to celebrate the rebels of the past while we silence the rebels of the present.

Can we ever live without exploitation? I say we can. There must be exploitation as long as there is the struggle for self-protection; as long as the mind is seeking security, comfort - through family, religion, authority, or tradition - there must be exploitation. And exploitation ceases only when the mind discerns the falseness of security and is no longer ensnared by its own power of creating illusions. If you will experiment with what I say, you will then understand that I am not destroying desire, but that you can live in this world richly, sanely, a life without limitations, without suffering. You can discover this only by experimenting, not by denying, not through resignation, nor by merely imitating. Where intelligence is functioning - and intelligence ceases to function when there is fear and the desire for security - there can be no exploitation.

The problem of our youth is not youth. The problem is the spirit of our age: denial of transcendence, the vapidity of values, emptiness in the heart, the decreased sensitivity to the imponderable quality of the spirit, the collapse of communication between the realm of tradition and the inner world of the individual. The central problem is that we do not know how to think, how to pray, how to cry, how to resist the deceptions of too many persuaders.

The net effect of holding children in confinement for twelve years without honor paid to the spirit is a compelling demonstration that the State considers the Western spiritual tradition dangerous.

We need to educate people to the idea that the quality of life is more important than mere length of life. Our cultural tradition holds that life has absolute value, but that is really not good enough anymore. Sometimes, no life is better.

We need to educate people to the idea that the quality of life is more important than mere length of life. Our cultural tradition holds that life has absolute value, but that is really not good enough anymore. Sometimes, no life is better.

The scientific tradition is distinguished from the pre-scientific tradition by having two layers. Like the latter, it passes on its theories; but it also passes on a critical attitude towards them.

Six Declines of Modern Youth: Decline of Fitness due to modern methods of locomotion [moving about];Decline of Initiative and Enterprise due to the widespread disease of spectatoritis; Decline of Memory and Imagination due to the confused restlessness of modern life; Decline of Skill and Care due to the weakened tradition of craftsmanship; Decline of Self-discipline due to the ever-present availability of stimulants and tranquilizers; And worst of all: Decline of Compassion due to the unseemly haste with which modern life is conducted or as William Temple called "spiritual death".

According to the biblical tradition the absence of work -- idleness -- was a condition of the first man's state of blessedness before the Fall. The love of idleness has been preserved in fallen man, but now a heavy curse lies upon him, not only because we have to earn our bread by the sweat of our brow, but also because our sense of morality will not allow us to be both idle and at ease. Whenever we are idle a secret voice keeps telling us to feel guilty. If man could discover a state in which he could be idle and still feel useful and on the path of duty, he would have regained one aspect of that primitive state of blessedness. And there is one such state of enforced and irreproachable idleness enjoyed by an entire class of men -- the military class. It is this state of enforced and irreproachable idleness that forms the chief attraction of military service, and it always will.

Education rears disciples, imitators, and routinists, not pioneers of new ideas and creative geniuses. The schools are not nurseries of progress and improvement, but conservatories of tradition and unvarying modes of thought.

At every crossroads on the path that leads to the future, tradition has placed 10,000 men to guard the past.

The worship of god is thus symbolically manifested in a systematic summarization of mythological tradition (Überlieferung) and in obedience of solemn ritual habits ... The holiness (Heiligkeit) of incomprehensible deity is transferred to the holiness of comprehensible symbols ... A work of art has its meaning essentially in itself ... A religious symbol, on the contrary, points always above itself, its value is never exhausted in itself ... a winged angel was considered from ancient times to be the most beautiful symbol of god's servant and messenger. Nowadays we will find among anatomically educated believers some, which are prevented by their scientifically educated imagination from considering such physiological impossibility beautiful, despite their best efforts. This circumstance, however, does not cause the slightes harm to their religious attitudes ...
But the overestimation of the importance of religious symbols is threatened still by another – much more serious – danger from the side of the movement of atheists (Gottlosenbewegung). One of the most favorite methods of this movement, aiming at undermining of every genuine religiosity, is to direct its attacks against traditional (alteingebürgerten) religious customs and ridiculing or dishonoring them as obsolete institutions. With such attacks against symbols they hope to hit the religion itself, and they have the easier task (Spiel) the stranger and more striking such views and customs look. Many a religious soul (religiöse Seele) has fallen pray to such a tactics. There is no better defense against such peril than to realize that religious symbol ... does never represent an abolute value but is always only a more or less imperfect reference to something higher which is not directly accessible to our senses.

God has come again and again in various Forms, has spoken again and again in different words and different languages the Same One Truth — but how many are there that live up to it? Instead of making Truth the vitalbreath of his life, man compromises by making over and over againa mechanical religion of it—a handy staff to lean on in times of adversity, a soothing balm for his conscience or a tradition to be followed.

‘One’ semantically represents the One God, the mystical One and Monism. However, in its detailed examination of the term ‘One,’ Hassidic philosophy finds that this term lacks a certain resilience and is not as watertight as the formulators of Hassidic thought would like. In their attempt to describe a higher and more consummate Oneness that they feel is the particular nature of the unio-mystica and also of Redemption. Moreover, as the idea of the ‘One God’ is the basis for ‘Monotheism,’ it is understandably a term, that although from a mystical perspective is interpreted as being beyond division, the mystical tradition feels that the idea has been misused and/or misunderstood as a description of the ‘One God of the world’ as opposed to the Monistic and mystical realisation of the Oneness of all Existence. Therefore, the term ‘Only’ is generally used in an attempt to describe the type of Oneness that expresses the mystical reality of there ‘Only’ being God.

Manifestly, an abyss separates the modernist form the traditionalist in their respective views of Torah. But an abyss, no matter how broad and deep, is a cleft in the earth's surface. the walls to either side will be of similar composition; they will be joined by a common ground below and may be even further united by a bridge from above. So, though the tradition and the modernist differ over Torah, both revere it, each after his own understanding and fashion; or to look to it for guidance and inspiration. And both stand on the same ground, are made of the same stuff, and surmount their disagreements in arches of shared purpose.

The salvation of Judaism cannot come either from Orthodoxy or from Reform. Orthodoxy is altogether out of keeping with the march of human thought. It has no regard for the world view of the contemporary mind. Nothing can be more repugnant to the thinking man of today than the fundamental doctrine of Orthodoxy, which is that tradition is infallible. Such infallibility could be believed in as long as the human mind thought of God and revelation in semi-mythological terms. Then it was conceivable that a quasi-human being could hand down laws and histories in articulate form. Being derived from a supramundane source, these laws and histories, together with the ideas based on them, could not but be regarded as free from all the errors and shortcomings of the human mind. Whenever a tradition contradicts some facts too patent to be denied, or falls below some accepted moral standard, resort is had to artificial interpretations that flout all canons of history and exegesis. The doctrine of infallibility rules out of court all research and criticism, and demands implicit faith in the truth of whatever has come down from the past. It precludes all conscious development in thought and practice and deprives Judaism of the power to survive in an environment that permits of free contact with non-Jewish civilizations.

There are, no doubt, a few who manage to acquire a high degree of modern culture and even to achieve distinction in some branches of modern knowledge without finding themselves intellectually at variance with Orthodoxy. They belong to those who see no need for welding tradition and experience into a unitary organised mental background. They willingly subscribe to the medieval principle that Torah and philosophy have nothing to do with each other, because it saves them a great deal of mental bother. But such is only a small eddy in the main current of Jewish life.

Nineteenth-century Reform in German had aimed at the following three objectives: (1) the substitution of a rationalist attitude to tradition for the on based on unquestioning faith, (2) the elimination of those religious observances and prayers which emphasised the particularistic aspect of Judaism, and (3) the shifting of emphasis from the legalistic to the prophetic aspect of Judaism. To counteract that threefold program, Orthodoxy proposed a program of its own, which called for the following: (1) faith in the supernatural origin of the written and oral Torah, (2) maintenance of all traditional observances and forms of worship, and (3) the continuance of the study of Torah in the traditional sprit. This program was intended to rule out any possibility of compromising with modernism. In practice, however, Orthodoxy did not shut out completely all tendencies that conflicted with tradition.

Modesty is the decoration of poverty, thanks-giving is the decoration of affluence and wealth. Patience and endurance are the ornaments and decorations of calamities and distress. Humility is the decoration of lineage, and eloquence is the decoration of speech. Committing to memory is the decoration of tradition (hadīth), and bowing the shoulders is the decoration of knowledge. Decency and good morale is the decoration of the mind, and a smiling face is the decoration of munifence and generiosity. Not boasting of doing favours is the decoration of good deeds, and humility is the decoration of service. Spending less is the decoration of contentment, and abondoning the meaningless and unnecessary things is the decoration of abstention and fear of God.