A treatise on when and why to heed your soul’s transgressive instinct, with examples drawn from biblical history and Hasidic lore.
Rabbi Bonder turns a few conventional ideas on their heads as he identifies the forces at play in individual, social, and spiritual transformation. Many people believe that obedience to the established moral order leads to the well-being of society as well as the salvation of their souls. On the contrary, says Bonder, the human spirit is nourished by the impulse to betray and transgress the ways of the past. Even the Bible legitimizes our God-given urge to disobey in order to evolve, grow, and transcend. It is this “immoral” soul of ours that impels us to do battle with God–and out of this clash, Bonder predicts, a new humanity will emerge. In the course of discussion, he examines a variety of intriguing issues touching on religion, science, and culture, including the findings of evolutionary psychology; the relation of body and soul; infidelity in marriage; the stereotype of Jew as traitor; sacrifice and redemption in Judaism and Christianity; and the Messiah as archetypal transgressor.