Past and Present : Selected Essays
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1919. Excerpt: ... I THE POLITICAL IDEAL OF THE PROPHETS A Study In Biblical Zionism OF the numerous obstructions which the human understanding encounters in its search for truth none perhaps are more troublesome than those which Francis Bacon, philosopher as well as politician, so quaintly designated as idola fori, "the idols of the market" "those namely which have entwined themselves around the understanding from the associations of words and names," and are "either the names of things which have no existence, or they are the names of actual objects, but confused, badly defined, and hastily and irregularly abstracted from things." As the subject of this paper will unavoidably lead me to speak of politics, politicians and things political, I must begin by earnestly entreating you to dismiss from your minds those unpleasant, nay, repulsive associations which have encrusted these words in our own times and surroundings, and to transfer your thoughts to the days of old when man was best defined as a "political animal," when Paper read in the Course of Public Lectures of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America on April 1, 1909. Published in the Jewish Comment on March 11, 1910. A Hebrew translation of this essay, prepared by the author, was published in the Hebrew monthly Hatoren in 1915 and reprinted in pamphlet form by the Hebrew Society "Ahieber" in New York. "political" and "ideal were not yet a contradiction, and when politics were rather the lever to lift man from the stupor and selfishness of animal existence to human virtue and self-sacrifice. If politics be inseparable from compromise-mongering and trading in convictions, then no greater insult to prophecy and no grosser misconception of its message could be possible than to associate it with politics. But if "pol...
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