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Act Of Faith

May 29, 1988

Jay Cantor's review of I. B. Singer's story collection, "The Death of Methuselah" (Book Review, May 1), perceptively identifies the "self divided," against God or oneself, that generates the creative tension in Singer's writing. A voice raised in argument against God, or life, is not alien to Jewish tradition; what is alien is indifference. The shalom , or peace--in Hebrew connoting fullness or wholeness--envisioned by the prophets, and the tikkun , or reparation, taught by the mystics, presupposes a fragmentary experience of life. The act of creation, of structuring--however limited or temporary--thus becomes an act of faith. As Cantor notes, "We can't simply have one coherent story." But maybe, as all stories are told and retold, we can enjoy a richer one.

AMY ADELSTEIN

CANOGA PARK

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