Martin Buber
MARTIN BUBER   Macroknow Library

On Judaism.

". . . [T]he deepest layers of our being are determined by blood . . ."1a GOBINEAU CARNEGIE

". . . [T]he Jew is endowed with greater motor than sensory faculties . . ."1b

"'Whatever in Christianity is creative is not Christianity but Judaism . . . whatever in Christianity is not Judaism is uncreative . . .'"1c

". . . [T]he Jew's sense of time is much more strongly developed than his sense of space . . ."1d

"We can have only a faint inkling of the depth of the tragedy that befell Judaism at that time [Bar-Kokhba's great rebellion]; the account of Jews sold for the price of a horse in the marketplace of Hebron, at the site of Abraham's terebinth, seems like a monstrous portent."1e HERZL AYOUB

". . . Marcion came to Rome from Asia Minor, bringing with him his own Gospel as a kind of spiritual contribution to the destruction of Israel. In his Gospel he not only separated the Old from the New Testament and the history of Christianity from the history of Israel, but he also drew a line of demarcation between the Deities: on the one side the God of Israel, who is also the creator of this imperfect world and is himself imperfect, being only a just God, and not a good God; on the other side, the 'alien,' unknown God who has no concern with this world, yet takes pity on it and redeems it."1f RUSSELL

I and Thou.

"The attitude of man is twofold in accordance with the two basic words he can speak.
The basic words are not single words but word pairs.
One basic word is the word pair I-You.
The other basic word is the word pair I-It . . .
Thus the I of man is also twofold.
For the I of the basic word I-You is different from that of the basic word I-It."

"Only he that funnels all the force of the other into the doing of the one, absorbing into the actualization of what was chosen the undiminished passion of what was not chosen, only he that 'serves God with the evil impulse,' decides -- and decides what happens. Once one has understood this one also knows that precisely this deserves to be called righteous: that which is set right, toward which a man directs himself and for which he decides; and if there were a devil he would not be the one who decided against God but he that in all eternity did not decide.
The man to whom freedom is guaranteed does not feel oppressed by causality. . . "2b

"That you need God more than anything, you know at all times in your heart. But don't you know also that God needs you -- in the fullness of his eternity, you? How would man exist if God did not need him, and how would you exist? You need God in order to be, and God needs you -- for that which is the meaning of your life."2c


* Italics in the original.

1 Martin Buber (1878-1965). On Judaism. Edited by Nahum N. Glatzer. Foreword by Rodger Kamenetz, 1995. Schoken Books Inc., 1967. New York, NY: Random House, Inc., 1996.
a I. Judaism and the Jews, at 15.
b III. Renewal of Judaism, at 44.
c Ibid., at 47.
d Ibid., at  49.
e IV. The Spirit of the Orient and Judaism, at 71.
f The Later Addresses, 1939-1951: I. The Spirit of Israel and the World Today, at 187.

2 Martin Buber. I and Thou. Translation with a Prologue and Notes by Walter Kaufman. Translation, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1970. Introduction, Walter Kaufman, 1970. New York, NY: Touchstone, Simon & Schuster, 1996.
a First Part, at 53.
b Second Part, at 101.
c Third Part, at 130.

MK-BOOK-BUBER-20010309. Updated 20040119.