Monday, November 14, 2005

I'm Back

My blogging vacation is now over. My apologies for the lack of bloggage, but my real-world commitments have been keeping me busy. In the past eight days, I've pulled three all nighters. Longest period without sleep: ~50 hours, nowhere near my personal record of 70. Longest period of continuous sleep: six hours.

Of course GH's retirement kinda took the zest out of blogging, but his recent blessing to me is a new source of inspiration. Just to speculate about GH's retirement: He said that he was packing it in due to new job commitments and I believe. Even my humble blog really eats into my regular routine. But is it possible something else is at work? In one of his last posts, GH speculated that some gedolim get depressed later in life, possibly by the realization that the dialectic between religious and scientific man (to roughly paraphrase RYBS) is one that offers no resolution. Is it possible that those who pick up the mantle of resolving these issues are invariably disappointed and are left with more questions than answers.

It seems that the whole system is falling apart. To cite anecdotal evidence, no one I know who went out to reconcile their religion with the real world came back the same. They come to the realization that the answers they wanted are not there. It would be lovely to pick up a book by some cool rabbi who lays out the case for God and utilizes actual reasoning in doing so.

Instead they realize that the rational framework offers no justification for religion. They discover the apologists standard line- eilu v'eilu divrei elokim chayim- that these two entities are separate and never shall the twain meet. Belief in God requires a suspension of the reason.

Is it possible that GH came to this realization and realized that the uphill battle wasn't worth it. That life is short and it's a healthier strategy to focus on his family and community than to tilt at windmills?

I think it's a good possibility. The system is falling apart all around us, and any rabbi who attempts to tackle this issue is either castigated by the UO or falls off into the abyss of logic. We all desperately want to believe that resolution lies off in the future, but it is right in front of us. The world makes sense. We are just scared too scared of it.

So I wish GH the best of luck in retirement, and toast his enormous contribution to the j-blogosphere.