Page 106 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

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J EW I S H BOOK A N N U A L
100
lay at the basis of the conception of a “holy nation” and not a
theory. He deems it offensive, mad, to confound the purpose of
Isaiah with that of Fichte or to suggest kinship between the
strident arrogance of
die Wacht am Rhein
and the self humiliation
of
oshamnu mi-kol am.
Finally Professor Ginzberg has taught that Jewish law has been
produced by evolution, and to those who have maintained that
this view was out of harmony with his resistance to change, he
has replied that the latter had always come about spontaneously
and unconsciously and in any event required the sanction of
authority. What in the present-day anarchy of Jewish observance
we are to recognize as spontaneous and what we are to reject as
willful, or how we are to call the necessary authority into exist-
ence, he has not made clear. Naturally, attached to the tradition
of his people and clinging to it the more because for many of his
contemporaries it has ceased to have any significance, he has
bent the acumen of his great mind to the love of his heart. The
scion of one of Israel’s most illustrious families of the past several
centuries, many of whose members were the mainstay of the
Halachah, he may be said to feel personally responsible for its
safekeeping. Certainly the devotion of a lifetime can not but
have made it precious in his eyes, and have rendered him vigilant
and circumspect in handling it.