39 Pages

Part II, Chapter Three: Redemption, or the Eternal Future of the Kingdom – Movement from the Secluded to the Disclosed Soul of the Human

Rosenzweig's discussion of the course of redemption begins with the course of revelationllove. What God reveals to the

human is himself as a lover. That love transforms the human into a beloved. That is the sole content of revelation. However, that divine love produces a demand, a commandment (Gebot) on the human beloved, viz., to also become a lover. But only the human individual can be loved by God. Since God is totally active, he is in no sense passive, and to be loved is passive. Hence, the duty to love as God loves cannot be directed towards God. Instead, it is directed towards another human individual, or, to be more precise, it is directed to any other human being who happens by chance to be near the beloved. It could not be otherwise. Love is an unconditional gift from the lover to the beloved. As unconditional, it has no reasons. If the lover could choose whom to love he/she would love for a reason, and hence the love would be conditional, viz., conditional on the reason for loving. Also, love is a totally particular relationship between two particular individuals in their total individuality. That also is why there can be no reason for selecting one unique individual as a beloved over another. Reasons are always general. They may apply to things only insofar as they are general. But they cannot recognize, let alone be directed towards, what is totally unique, viz., the concrete other person. Hence, love necessarily is accidental. You become a lover by loving whoever is nearest to you, i.e., the neighbor (der/die Niichste), literally and most accurately, the nearest, i.e., whoever is nearest to you. Hence, the sole command that arises upon the individual from the revelation of divine love is 'Love your neighbor' (Liebe deinen Niichsten).