Organic Thinking

A Study in Rabbinic Thought

By Max Kadushin

Subjects: Jewish Studies, Religion
Imprint: Distribution Partners
Paperback : 9781586840914, 405 pages, January 2001

Thorough analysis of rabbinic thought.


The proof that organic thinking is a genuine phenomenon, not an artifact, rests with the actual analysis of rabbinic literacy material, to which so many pages of this book are devoted. Rabbinic thought is concerned with numerous rabbinic concepts, terms peculiar to itself. These concepts are certainly not united in logical fashion and their relationship with each other defies diagrammatic representation. Instead, every concept is related to every other concept because every concept is a constituent part of the complex as a whole. Conversely, the complex of concepts as a whole enters into the constitution of every concept; and thus every concept is in constant, dynamic relationship with every other concept. Rabbinic thought, hence, is organismic, for only in an organism are the whole and its parts mutually constitutive. Indeed, the rabbinic organic complex affords an instance wherein the organismic process can be viewed with exceptional clarity. Since we are dealing with definite concepts and terms, it is merely a question of tracing these terms through all their interrelations. A clearly discernible pattern will then emerge, firm enough to supply the necessary cohesion, yet remarkably elastic, even fluid. The elastic, organismic qualities of the concepts enable them to canalize experience, to give it order and harmony without loss to its richness and variety, in fact, to evoke rich variety by virtue of the subtle, flexible order. But we must not imagine that the complicated structure renders organic thinking a difficult feat. Breathing is effortless though it involves a complicated structure; so with organic thinking.