A People Apart: Chosenness and Ritual in Jewish by Daniel H. Frank

By Daniel H. Frank

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Now, to be sure, the covenant could not function in the human world if Israel had not, does not, and will not respond to God's election of her. However, the response is an acceptance of the prior event of God's choice. When Israel does not respond, which happens all too frequently, God reiterates the choice again and again and again. The covenant is always initiated by God, not by Israel, even when Israel's reiteration of it comes centuries after the initial covenantal event. 63 THE ELECTION OF ISRAEL 31 At this point, it is Cohen's Kantianism that forces him to make what must be considered a basic distortion of classical Jewish doctrine.

See Kant 1929, B234ff. 79. See Kant 1929, B33, B72, B100, B266. 80. See Novak 1989, pp. 129ff. 81. Only once have I been able to find in Cohen's work a recognition, one he could not justify on his own terms, however, that God's essence transcends its correlation with human moral reason. See Cohen 1972, p. 95. Cf. Cohen 1972, pp. 65, 109. 82. See Novak 1989, pp. 148ff. 83. Cohen 1972, p. 365. Along these lines, Cohen was followed by his student Franz Rosenzweig. See Rosenzweig 1921, p. 382; Rosenzweig 1961, p.

91. , Deut. 13-15. 92. , no I (human) without Thou (divine) and no Thou without I. Such a relational God is just as immanent as Cohen's God. This problem affects a number of contemporary covenantal Jewish theologians. , Hartman 1985, p. 302. For an insightful, though oblique, critique of Buber on this very point, see Heschel 1951, pp. 4549, 128-29; also, Tillich 1959, p. 62. 93. 24. This may also be the reason why this narrative was once considered by some to be the Torah reading for Rosh Hashanah when it was observed for only one day even in the Land of Israel.

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