Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Adon Olam And Modern Science

Adon Olam And Modern Science

ADON OLAM

THE charm of the Adon Olam consists in the subtle manner in which Jewish dogmatics are associated with the simplest spiritual thoughts. In the first four lines we have a picture of God, the eternal Lord, existing before the creation of the world, existing still when the world shall cease to be. Between the eternal past and the eternal future comes the world of time. This is purely Jewish dogmatics.


Aristotle held that the world was eternal; Judaism, that it was created. It is God alone who is eternal. Further, Judaism conceives of God as Something apart from, outside of, His world. He transcends man and the universe. Yet God is also immanent; He dwells within the human soul as well as within the world. God is not one with man, but akin to man; He is high above the world, yet nigh unto them that call upon Him.


The God who exists for ever is proclaimed King when men acknowledge His Kingship and show Him the allegiance of worship and obedience. The God who stands high above creation is the One into whose hand man commits himself without fear. The Majestic King is also the Redeemer. The transcendent God is a Refuge in man’s distress. He does not merely raise a banner, He is the Banner; He does not only hold out the cup of salvation, He is the consummate Cup.
I. ABRAHAMS, 1906.




BEFORE the glorious orbs of light
Had shed one blissful ray,
In awful power, the Lord of might
Reign’d in eternal day.
At His creative, holy word
The voice of nature spoke,
Unnumber’d worlds with one accord
To living joys awoke.
Then was proclaim’d the mighty King
In majesty on high!
Then did the holy creatures sing
His praises through the sky.
All-merciful in strength He reigns
Immutable! supreme!
His hand the universe sustains,
He only can redeem.
Almighty, powerful and just!
Thou art my God, my Friend,
My rock, my refuge and my trust,
On Thee my hopes depend.
O! be my guardian whilst I sleep,
For Thou didst lend me breath:
And when I wake, my spirit keep,
And save my soul in death.
D. N. CARVALHO, 1830.

ADON OLAM AND MODERN SCIENCE

ALONE of all religious and philosophic conceptions of man, the faith which binds together the Jews has not been harmed by the advance of research, but, on the contrary, has been vindicated in its profoundest tenets.


Slowly and by degrees Science is being brought to recognize in the universe the existence of One Power, which is of no beginning and no end; which has existed before all things were formed, and will remain in its integrity when all is gone; the Source and Origin of all, in Itself beyond any conception or image that man can form and set up before his eye or mind; whereas all things perceivable as matter and force are subjected to his inquiry and designs.



This sum total of the scientific discoveries of all lands and times is an approach of the world’s thought to our Adon Olam, the sublime chant, by means of which the Jew has wrought and will further work the most momentous changes in the world.
W. M. HAFFKINE, 1916.





Excerpt From A Book of Jewish Thoughts By Dr. J H. Hertz


Beautiful Moments Journal Paperback