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Halakhic Man's Personality Structure

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Chapter Summary

Rabbi Joseph Baer Soloveitchik discusses in greater depth the personality of Halakhic Man. Halakhic Man is a restrained figure, exerting absolute self-control, indifferent to elementary human feelings, and driven by predefined and unwavering rules. He is absolutely controlled by ideal halakhic thought. Eminent figures turn to concrete life with great enthusiasm, in order to redress wrongs and amend the world, but Halakhic Man is indifferent to such motives. The personality features of Halakhic Man are derived from his anti-metaphysical cognition, which requires him to negate spiritual worlds and transcendent reality. The only components of Halakhic Man's cognition are halakhic principles and their ongoing creation. The typical features of Halakhic Man are self-confidence and self-affirmation, but he is constantly threatened by dispositions pulling him toward homo religious. R. Soloveitchik clarifies that Halakhic Man rejects feelings of humility, naught, and abnegation.

Keywords: anti-metaphysical cognition; Halakhic Man; halakhic thought; personality structure; Rabbi Joseph Baer Soloveitchik



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