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Change Or Interpretation: Repentance As Creativity

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Chapter Summary

Rabbi Joseph Baer Soloveitchik chooses the three most significant expressions of self-creation in Halakhic Man: repentance, providence, and prophecy. Repentance is discussed in connection with the perception of time, and this will be the main focus of this chapter. The chapter examines how repentance fits into the general conceptual framework of Halakhic Man. It argues that Halakhic Man perceives repentance as he does any moral, practical, or conceptual-philosophical process, through ideal halakhic categories and through their creative aspects. Repentance as self-creation requires a special perception of causality and of time, which is incompatible with the perspective of homo religious. The time perception of Halakhic Man is opposed to that of homo religious. Repentance is presented in Halakhic Man as an intentional activity. It is a constant cognitive activity, in which Halakhic Man interprets past and present events in light of the future.

Keywords: Halakhic Man; homo religious; Rabbi Joseph Baer Soloveitchik; repentance



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