Torah and the Social Sciences Resources

Comparative Worldviews: Collectivism, Individualism, and Torah

In Kabbalah there are three general models for the organization of social structures, all of which derive from an overarching conception of the true identity of a human being. This identity includes both the “abstract” universality and “concrete” individuality played off the positive tensions experienced by the subject caught up in the currents of political and social life. The three models that deal with the relationships of universality and individuality are referred to as worlds, since the term olam (“world”), has the connotation in Chassidic thought of a frame of reference and an optics for envisioning a certain scope of reality. The terms for these three different visions of reality, are ekudim (“bound”), nekudim (“points”) and berudim (“streaked”). Each of these worldviews can be described as social/political structures.

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