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Beit Hamidrash

Faith and Internal Freedom

By: Rav Yuval Cherlow

Nietzsche's declaration of the death of the Master of the Universe was a theological declaration. It did not result from a philosophical validation or from the inability to rationally prove the existence of a powerful force in the sky. It resulted from the feeling that rose seeking inner freedom, from the contradiction he found between faith and natural and moral. Acceptance of any kind might hurt one's soul. Freedom, liberty, and the one-time authenticity of existence, need to take the place of acceptance of the kingdom of Heaven (Ol Malchut Shamyyim) and the commandments. The person must choose between slaving himself or releasing himself. Nietzsche also believed it would bring greater morality, as the trustee itself will not harm morals. Although history did not confirm this assumption, this assumption ruled many worldviews at the time.

The source of the heresy is not a philosophical one, therefore it cannot be dealt with mental tools. The question found in the words of Nietzsche is a real existential question - Can self-belief and faith walk together, whether a person can request an internal freedom while authority to subordinate itself to be divine?

This question actually put to the challenge the modern religious thought. In this thinking there is a significant weight in human feelings and emotions, and feelings of inner truths of identification. We can classify the ways of dealing with the contradiction between liberty and freedom and religious belief in two main ways. Some gave this contradiction verbatim, and demanded their choice. As Atheists demanded from a person to choose between freedom and obedience to the inner outside source, to decide whether he is source for his actions or a more powerful force has this role so did Faith, and it demands to decide because the opposite! This is the essence of faith, acceptance of the kingdom of heaven (Ol Malchut Shammiyim), and internal conquest under the supreme truth. A believer 'trusses' himself on the altar of faith.

He abandoned the inner desire, his thoughts, beliefs, moral principles and the rich world to gain an experience and really it's greater than these. "The Sacrifice of Isaac" is the prototype of this being. Just as Abraham is claimed to take his son, his only son and heir, to conquer his love for his son as his greatest love of God, the believer is claimed to do so for generations. This concept does not necessarily holds that the life full of suffering and misery. Divine truth revealed to man can bring with it an extensive happiness. However, happiness and joy are not the purpose of faith, and are not guaranteed to a person. He should take the power from the truth of god's orders, whether joyful and pleasurable, or whether it demands sacrifice, whether it is strengthening its powers or whether it demands the subjugation of them. Truth is truth. The common side of this way and Nietzsche is the freedom to choose, the difference is determining what is the proper choice. Many of those who do not believe chose their way by virtue of this approach, which required them to choose.

The second way is not asking to settling the contradiction. It is engaged at an earlier stage, clearly the nature of the conflict. The premise is the discussion here. Does the religious feeling, the religious, forces itself on the person? Doesn't a person get the high and uplifting feeling from his own internal freedom? A famous definition of scientist researchers of religious experience, William James, about the essence of the experience of religion is: "... emotions, actions and experiences of the individual, alone, if he sees himself in relation to God - Divine, no matter what he not calculated - Divine "- is it coercion or an inner truth request?

Therefore, we must redefine what is the nature of this liberty. There's no similarity between the phrase 'do whatever is in my head" and inner freedom. Freedom is being true to oneself, to one's real mental characteristics. Faith seeks to actually release this freedom. It directs the person not to become enslaved to his urges and appetites, turning his attention to his absolute soul's request, and offers him a distant encounter with the absolute. All this requires a real distinction between freedom and the Escape from Freedom.

On the other hand, we should aim for a re-examination of the concept of "religion". If indeed the essence of religious life is an external way of life it is possible to find very little freedom. Indeed, there is a certain feeling of freedom in doing the commandments. There are moral actions and commandments between man and his fellow, that lead to a true relationship between man and his fellow. Moreover, also in certain commandments that shape the relationship to the absolute God, the object of man's belief, there is great freedom. However, you cannot put the entire complex in this definition, note that the definition of James' does not engage at the life-and religious that's common today. You cannot deny the contradiction between the official religious conviction and internal faith, by using verbal manipulation.

Reexamination of the "religion" should direct the discussion primarily to the experiential relationship and trust. Practical mitzvot, and receiving a life's commandments, came long after Passover, the holiday of freedom. Liberation came before slavery, experience with open top and absolute came before, human dignity and freedom, pre-design time came before, and much more came before. The initial attention will be deviated from practice to experience, leading the contradiction between religious and freedom to turn into a violated and uplifting experience.

It should be emphasized that this way also doesn't designate a new religion. One of the characteristics typical of the Jewish religion is the overweight that the practical commandments take. Coercion exists in human relations with God, and is part of a religious experience. At the same time of the absolute love of God there is also great fear. At the same time of the experience there's also the acceptance of the mitzvot. Judaism indeed seeks to establish an outside-oriented lifestyle. But much before it, it's necessary to engage the inner belief.

Some see the Passover seder as an event that essentially relates to the historical memory. However, the definition of Passover as a "time of our liberty" is directed more to adjust the total experience of living with the absolute. During the spring, the great flowering of everything, even the human soul should thrive. This internal spring trend is re-examination of concepts of internal freedom, on the one hand, and on the other hand belief concepts. As long as there is a contradiction between freedom and religion, not only is there no real chance of the enlightened person logs on to this experience, but that it is better not to do so. Significance of this connection is cutting down internal spiritual organs, and standing in front of God with broken strings. The constant attempt to connect the inner freedom with divine faith is a challenge of faith in the modern world, and there is no better time than spring time to do so.