Hartman favors an interpration of Judaism in which the world is “shaped by human initiative and action,” as opposed to a life of faith that ”requires submission or silence” in the face of God’s plan. Hartman prefers the Abraham who argued with God over the fate of Sodom, over the Abraham who meekly submitted to God’s commandment to sacrifice his son.
There are essentially two ways to view our relationship with God: one approach says ‘I’m nothing; only in my relationship to God am I something.’ In the other approach, an individual’s relationship to God makes him or her feel enhanced, enriched, empowered. Covenantal spirituality moves us toward self-expansion. It endows us with the ability to trust our own moral intuition, our own moral sensibility, our whole spiritual hunger.
One problem in the Jewish world today is that we no longer consider this kind of language Jewish; we’ve abdicated the language of personal moral agency to secular humanists. Yet giving strength to that inner moral voice is in itself not only very deeply religious, it is also deeply rooted in the tradition. It’s not just a liberal perspective; it is fundamental to the God relationship that we not abandon our own moral integrity.
Hag sameach, and may you find your inner moral voice.