Friday, January 14, 2005


Either the religious experience flows from a heart filled to the brim with love of God, and from a soul stirred to its inmost roots, or it is non-existent and artificially produced.

The way of every [person] to God must not differ from the trail along which Abraham moved toward his destiny, which had to be blazed through the wilderness of a brute and nonsensical existence. The experience is attained at the cost of doubts and a restless life, searching and examining, striving and pursuing—and not finding; of frustrating efforts and almost hopeless waiting; of grappling with oneself and everybody else; of exploring a starlit and moonlit sky and watching the majesty of sunsets and sunrises, the beauty of birth and also the ugliness of death and destruction; of trying to penetrate behind the mechanical surface of the cosmic occurrence and failing to discover any intelligible order in this drama; of winning and losing and reaching out again; of being able to put on a repeat performance of something which I had and lost; of asking questions and not finding answers; of ascending the high mount like Moses and falling back into the abyss, shattering everything one has received, and yet pulling oneself out of the depths of misery and trying to climb up the mountain again with two new stone tablets.

Out of the Whirlwind, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, p. 171 (my emphasis)

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