Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz:” On the plane of the soul.”

In today’s Western world, “democracy” is taken for granted as an ideal that is prized over anything else.

Yet the truth is that democracy is an unrealistic system, an illogical ideology.

When a person has a stomach ache, he does not ask three different people for their opinions or go to the Knesset and take a vote in order to determine what to do.

There could be 120 people sitting in the Knesset, all of whom are wise and discerning, but if they are opposed by one doctor, one relies on the doctor, not on the Knesset members.

Common sense dictates that the opinion of the expert should be valued over the opinion of the masses.

This is true not only of medical questions, but of much larger questions as well.

The idea that any ordinary person can decide complicated questions of international diplomacy or economic policy is fundamentally illogical.

The idea that people are equal to one another in wisdom or ability is clearly false.

People are not alike, whether in their height, in their appearance, or in their intelligence.

Nevertheless, in Moses’ case, the principle of equality springs from his belief in the soul, which is unconnected to the intellect or to reason.

A soul is something abstract, spiritual, and above all, holy.

On the plane of the soul there can be no criterion by which to determine who is higher and who is lower.

As a result, it can truly be said that “all the people in the community are holy.”

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz