Page 40 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 41

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34
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
o rd e r to solve problems. T he tru th though is tha t Juda ism never
re la ted to the family as a means o f solving problems, bu t ra th e r as
an
ideal,
a value in and o f itself. The family is the unique and indis­
pensable framework within which to convey spiritual and social
values; it is the very source o f tha t love and loyalty which form the
base o f all social life (See Eliezer Schweid,
The Individual Jew and
Judaism
[Hebrew], 1974).
I t is within the family framework tha t man finds his way to his
fellow-man, tha t he develops, the dialogue between the “I ” and
“T h o u ” which is, according to Martin Buber, the basis o f ou r
social and religious life. In the book o f Genesis we are told “It is
not good for man to be alone. I will make a fitting helper fo r him”
(2:18). From this verse it follows tha t it is good for man to be
bound to ano ther in the covenant o f marriage, and bound to his
paren ts by bonds o f love and respect. These relationships are the
reflection o f the g rea ter covenant between the Crea tor and His
creation (Eliezer Schweid, ibid., pp. 43, 47). T he connection
between these two systems is emphasized in the Bible: “As a fa ther
has mercy upon his children , so does God have mercy upon those
who fear Him” (Psalm 103), and “I will be tro th thee un to Me fo r­
ever; Yea, I will betro th thee un to Me in righteousness, and in
justice, and in lovingkindness, and in compassion” (Hosea 2:21).
W ithout the mercy and the lovingkindness learned within the
framework o f the family, we have no way o f attaining this h igher
spirituality.
T he family therefo re is tha t which enables man to be truly
hum an , a man created in the image o f God. I t is this which gives
the family its importance in the life o f Jews and Judaism .
(Translated from the Hebrew)