“What a man needs is some far-reaching ultimate concern which will bind all of his warring selves together and give meaning and purpose to his life.”
In his sermon of November 14, 1965, Rabbi Olan contrasts the “new gods of success” with “the central doctrine of the Biblical faith”: that there is “one God who made heaven and earth”.
Rabbi Olan is careful to acknowledge that success in business, “reverence for national honor or for social dignity”, “love of home and family”, “working for some good cause”, and “devotion to science or to art” can be meaningful “so long as they are not raised to the high altar of ultimate concern”. “But when any of these become the God we worship we have been shortchanged.” Then“Aren’t we worshiping gods whom we have made, and not the God who made us?”
Rabbi Olan ends by setting us a challenge: “What God do you really worship?”
*Written by Frances M. Olan and Lionel S. Joseph.*