Some Thoughts on Levinas and Orthodoxy

Tavi's Corner

In the essay on “Judaism and Christianity” from In the Time of the Nations, Levinas recalls a story mentioned by Hannah Arendt. When she was a child, she said one day to the rabbi, “’You know, I have lost my faith.’” And he responded: “Who’s asking you for it?’” Levinas says, “The response was typical. What matters is not ‘faith,’ but ‘doing.’ Doing, which means moral behavior, of course, but also the performance of the ritual. Moreover, are believing and doing different things? What does believing mean? What is faith made of? Words, ideas? Convictions? What do we believe with? With the whole body! With all my bones (Psalm 35:10)! What the rabbi meant was: ‘Doing good is the act of belief itself.’ That is my conclusion” (Levinas 148).

I am positive that you see here the beauty of Levinas’ thoughts. But I think you can also see the…

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About Tavi's Corner

Blogging on ancient philosophy, communist persecution in Romania (including deportation to Siberia), and Orthodox Christianity. I've translated books from Romanian to English, and I also write about them from time to time.
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