Page 3 - Core Beliefs For Intentional Community
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Human Nature and Free Will.

            The discussion on human nature and culture centred on the question of the innate
            limits to the cultures that humans can form as a biological species.  What are the
            constraints to which we are subject?   Are we “free” to determine our own way of life,
            our own fate?  Cultural anthropologist Alexander Alland (1931-2016) discusses the

            plasticity of human cultures as consequent to the unique biology of the human animal.

            Traditional Judaism recognized the dilemma between Determinism and Free Will early
            on:   “All is foreseen but free will is given…” (Avot 3:15).

            Thoughts on Community.

            The discussion on intentional community leads to the question of community in the
            modern world as well as prerequisites for intentional community.  These questions
            arise against the backdrop of the breakdown of traditional societies and the onset of
            modernity world-wide, which began in the 18  Century. It continues to this day.  It
            includes the transition from extended families in rural settings to nuclear families in
            urban aggregates.  Here the study group discussed the thoughts of Rene Dubos (1901-
            1982), French-American biologist and philosopher, as well as criteria for “true

            community” posited in 1919 by Martin Buber (1878-1965).  Uriel Tal (4891          - 4891)
            discussed the Biblical roots of intentional community in Judaism.

            “Shlichut” – The Idea of Mission.

            The idea of intentional community, in itself, is not enough.
            Its realization depends on individuals who take upon themselves the challenge of

            actualization.  Those who talk the talk must also be prepared to walk the walk. They
            hear/feel from within a “call” and act. The English term, “a calling” is a derivative of
            this idea. The study group related to this idea within the context of modern Jewish
            history while being fully cognizant of the fact that this idea can express itself in

            different ways, positive and negative, at different times and among different peoples.

            The Book of Genesis, 12: 1-4, presents the prototype - the Call which led the  Biblical

            figure of Abraham to “go forth” to the Promised Land.

            Eliezer Ben Yehuda (1858-1922), “The Dream and its Fulfilment” was the defining
            figure in the revival of Hebrew as a living language and he describes the events and
            the progression of thoughts which triggered his “call”.

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