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ON FAITH – CALL 36 – Summer 2013

               From the International Communes Desk (ICD) Study Group

               In “Thoughts on Community” (below) we present an excerpt from Martin Buber’s essay,
               “True Community”. Buber claimed that the existence of true community depends on land
               in common, work in common, way of life in common and belief in common – faith in
               common ideas and ideals. In his book, I and Thou, Buber expanded on this idea of
               common ideas and ideals as commitment to infinite purpose, commitment to an “Eternal
               Thou”. This brings us to the question of Faith and intentional community.

               Can there be intentional community without faith? Can there be intentional community
               without the personal commitment of the individual to invest part of his/her life energy
               in the realization of ideals in his/her personal life? Can there be intentional community

               without a group of people sharing over-arching ideals. Ultimately, in the real world, the
               question arises: In order to be viable does intentional community as a way of life
               require a movement of such communities in order to be viable and impact on society?
               We leave this last question for a future issue of CALL.
               In this issue we bring excerpts which deal with the question of faith. The German-
               American protestant theologian, Paul Tillich (1886- 1965), in his book, The Dynamics of

               Faith (1957), delves into the question of what true faith means. Tillich contrasts true
               faith with idolatrous faith such as faith in ”the Nation” or “success” .

               The kibbutz movement could not have emerged as a seminal influence on the emerging

               state of Israel without groups of individuals prepared to dedicate themselves to ideas
               and ideals – what the philosopher, A. D. Gordon termed “Life Eternal.”  Gordon’s
               concept of integrating “life of the hour” with “life eternal” provides an understanding
               of the mind-set of the first generation of the kibbutz pioneers (chalutzim). The

               current crisis in the kibbutz movement can be interpreted as a crisis of faith. (See also:
               “100 Years of Kibbutz: Now What and for What? “, CALL #33, Winter 2010/2011).

               The state of Israel could not have emerged without a humanistic belief in the individual
               – and his/her ability to realize a distant dream. Two poems, “I Believe” by Shaul
               Tchernichovsky and “You and I” by Arik Einstein – almost 100 years between them -

               express that spirit.

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