Inquire, Inquire part 12 – 5779
emunah is the panacea
Emunah (faith) is the panacea (all encompassing cure) for nihilism. In order to transcend the relative loop of ideas, entertained by the mind as truths, acceptance of a higher authority is necessary. Relative truths change over time. This is demonstrated by changes in the thinking of society, from one era to another. In America, the conservativism of the 1950’s, in terms of appropriate language, modest dress, and scrupulous morality does not compare to the liberal aspects found today in our speech, choice of clothing, and diminishing sense of morality.
The relativism of truth, wherein tolerance of all viewpoints is the pinnacle of acceptance of others, implies that there are no absolute truths to govern our lives. Rather, the self becomes the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong, regardless of a higher standard given to us by a divine authority. Thus, faith in ourselves precludes any sense of true emunah (belief) in G-d, even if we claim to believe in Him.
Because faith in G-d should compel us to accept His standard of right and wrong, this would lead to a reorientation of our values, especially if they’re drawn from the common gauge of the popular norm. As mentioned previously, the morality of man changes over time; however, G-d’s standard is consistent over time. His commandments are everlasting: “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; But the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8, JPS 1917 Tanach).
“The law of the L-RD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the L-RD is sure, making wise the simple.”
– Psalm 19:8, JPS 1917 Tanach