Worship and Ethics
A Study in Rabbinic Judaism
Describes how Halakah, or Jewish Law, enables the individual to achieve religious experience.
This book claims that cultural phenomena exist in rabbinic Judaism worship and ethics. Each individual has his own personal experiences in both spheres, but what make the experiences possible are the values of society. Theories depicting the individual as the creative rebel who overcomes the bonds of routine and inertia with which the tribe would enslave him certainly do not apply to rabbinic Judaism, and in essence probably to no religion. Such theories must use terms like worship, repentance, or love—terms and ideas provided by the tribe and by society. Worship and ethics are closely associated in rabbinic Judaism. The creative agency which developed both spheres is Halakah, the rabbinic law, and their close association is likewise largely due to Halakah. The aim of this book is to describe how Halakah, working with the value concepts of the folk as a whole, enables the individual to achieve religious experience.