Accepting the Yoke of Heaven
Commentary on the Weekly Torah Portion

By Yeshayahu Leibowitz
March 2006
Urim Publications
ISBN: 9657108772
204 pages, 5 ¾” x 8 ¾”
$15.95 Paper

Accepting the Yoke of Heaven is a compelling collection of thoughts on the weekly Torah portion by the acclaimed Jewish philosopher, Yeshayahu Leibowitz. As he leads us from Creation to the death of Moses, Professor Leibowitz takes us on a dramatic journey of philosophical discovery.

Revealing his rational views on the nature of God and his relationship with Man, Leibowitz challenges our conceptions of the purpose of prayer and the presence of holiness in the world. He demands compliance with Jewish law for its own sake, irrespective of expectations of reward or punishment. Written with unflinching honesty and conviction, Accepting the Yoke of Heaven is a work of startling erudition.

(Excerpt from Accepting the Yoke Heaven)
The Tower of Bavel
It appears to me that the root of the error, or sin, of the generation of the separation was not the building of a city and tower, but the aim to use these artificial means to ensure a situation of “one language and one speech”-of centralization, which, in modern parlance, would be known as totalitarianism. One language and one speech is, according to many naive people in our days, a description of an ideal situation: all of humanity a single bloc, without differentiation, and, as a result, without conflicts. But one who truly understands will know that there is nothing which is more threatening than this artificial conformism: a city and tower as the symbol of the concentration of all of mankind about a single topic-where there will not be differences of opinion and there will not be a struggle over different viewpoints and over different values. One cannot imagine greater tyranny than that, one cannot imagine a greater mental and moral sterility than that-that there should be no exceptions and that there should be no deviations from what is accepted and agreed upon, and this being maintained by the artificial means of a city and a tower. In His mercy and compassion for mankind, God prevented this from occurring, and He made a humanity where a totalitarianism of complete unity cannot be.

Religion; Judaism

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