Abstract

Is there a limit set to human reason, where the mind must halt its inquiries without assuaging its perplexity? For rabbinic tradition, there is a limit; and a rabbi especially ought not to challenge the orthodoxy that governs Jewish religious belief. The legendary Rabbi Elisha ben Abuyah sought the certitude of reason, overstepped the limit—“Free reason . . . is a heady wine”—and was castigated a pariah. But was he? Milton Steinberg’s As a Driven Leaf elicits a far more sympathetic intellectual and emotional response to Elisha, the man, and his quest, pressing us to interrogate the limit of faith and reason.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 153-168
Launched on MUSE
2014-08-18
Open Access
No
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