In the introduction to Doubleday edition of Rabbi Soloveitchik’s classic, “The Lonely Man of Faith”, Dr. David Shatz highlights man’s dual nature of conquering, creating, dominating and controlling the world on one hand and his thirst for redemption, self-discipline and submissiveness to G-d on the other.
Man’s task is to integrate this dual nature through Halakha (Torah), as Rabbi Soloveitchik says “the Halakha believes there is only one world, not divisible into secular and hallowed sectors”. Secular society strongly rejects the transcendental and religious society often withdraws from the secular, so the man of faith faces intense loneliness in his quest for integration.
As BTs we’ve lived in both worlds and perhaps because of this, we face additional challenges of integration and loneliness. As we try to establish our roots firmly in the spiritual world of faith, we both reject the world we left and face rejection by those we’ve left, even as we attempt to integrate these two worlds.
Do you think our experiences makes us more lonely?
If our experience has led to better integration, why have we failed to positively influence our fellow secular and religious Jews on this path?
What thoughts and actions can we use to make this process better for ourselves?