us today what he said centuries ago of the early Western philosophers: “Our
earliest imitators were the Greek philosophers, who, though ostensiblyobserving the laws of their own countries, yet in their conduct and
philosophy were Moses‟ disciples.” If we would know ourselves, we should
first of all know the Jews, and to know them we have to know their history.The Jewish poets and scribes did a wonderful job of recording oursame old story. In their eloquent books we find the best and worst of humannature in the portrayal of the progress of the naturally ambiguous religion of ambivalence, of human cruelty and loving kindness projected onto a singlenational deity. Now each man would be god almighty, or at least a wild bullto his domesticated cattle, but that just cannot be. Although he cannot be allthat he would be, he can cling to clan and tribe and kith and kin; he canattribute his fatal flaw to outlandish enemies, outlaws who do not participate
in his group‟s sacred rituals. And there are always enemies
, within besideshis own self, to accuse him of hypocrisy and found their own cults: Judaism,for instance, s
pawned two world religions on the principle of “ThouHypocrite!” i.e., on the demand that the deed match the ideal.
Indeed, hypocrisy is the underlying crisis; an actor on this spinningball cannot be the person he pretends to be; that person in turn is a maskedactor or hypocrite in his won right. Out of self-contempt for his lack of