The Going pp 71-95 | Cite as

The Ineffable



This chapter provides a phenomenological theology of command. Within the complex and diverse ecosystem of the halakha, the beating heart that sends the pulse of life to its farthest parts is the Divine. Working with two concepts central to the rabbinic concept of devotion, yir’ah (awe) and love, Wiener Dow illuminates how each offers a path to—and from—the command. While yir’ah seems eminently compatible with a commanding voice, love, too, finds its rightful place in the experience of commandedness, offering the “underbelly of the life of command.” The halakha’s uncompromising insistence that the individual drag the private experience of the Divine into the daylight of intersubjective (and intercommunal) reality reveals it to be a praxis that points at possibilities of authentic religious existence beyond its borders.


Negative theology God and the halakha The Tetragrammaton ahava and yir’a, love and awe/fear halakha and Jewish existence 

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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shalom Hartman InstituteJerusalemIsrael

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