Quote of the Day: Heschel on God as "the Most Moved Mover"
"...if we put aside the categories and logic of Greek philosophy and try
to understand biblical religion in its own terms, we will soon discover
that the God of the bible is not Aristotle's impassive, unmoved mover
at all; he can only be described as "the Most Moved Mover." Between
"unmoved" and "most moved" lies the vast gulf that separates
Aristotelian/philosophical and biblical/religious conceptions of God.
According to the Bible, the single most important thing about God is not
his perfection but his concern for the world.God created the world and
from that moment on exhibits concern for his creation. The God of the
Bible is not aloof but involved, not distant but near, not immune from,
but vulnerable to what happens in his world and what his creatures to
do. In a word, God seeks intimacy. He is especially 'in search of man,'
desiring relationship and cherishing the hope that, out of this
relationship (the biblical term for the fullness of this relationship is
covenant) will come proper human actions and just societies. God
has a stake in our behavior. Thus, he cries when we fail and rejoices
when we succeed. He weeps when we ignore widows, exploit orphans, and
abuse strangers; and when we violate the norms he has taken pains to
communicate to us, he angrily sends prophets to chastise and warn us.
What all this means is that God is filled with feeling, with pathos.
Strange as this might be to Aristotle, it is the very essence of
biblical religion and of the Judaism that arose from it. "
Alan T. Levenson, Introduction to Modern Jewish Thinkers, "Chapter Thirteen: Abraham Joshua Heschel," p. 215