“We are what others want us to be. We make ourselves up attractively to appeal to the current market. What we really are, as persons with individual ideas, ethical values and tastes is submerged in favor of the package which sells over the counter.”
If we replace the word “counter” with “internet,” how much truer those words are today. In this sermon delivered on January 28, 1968, Rabbi Olan observed that when people believed deeply in God, they felt a deeper need to act morally, to keep their promises. God has now been replaced by the marketplace, he said; we keep our promises only when it pays.
“We, today, still live and act by the morals which grew out of a day when God was alive and values were real. What, however, will take place when the next generation or two accept it as fact that God is dead?”
It has now been about two generations since Rabbi Olan delivered this sermon. How would you answer his question?
*Written by Joshua F. Hirsch*