The direct relation with the true, excluding the prior examination of its terms, its idea — that is, the reception of Revelation — can only be the relation with a person, with another. The Torah is given in the Light of a face. The epiphany of the other person is ipso facto my responsibility toward him: Seeing the other is already an obligation toward him. A direct optics, without the mediation of any idea — can only be accomplished as ethics…To hear a voice speaking to you is ipso facto to accept obligation toward the one speaking...Consciousness is the urgency of a destination leading to the other person and not an eternal return to self. But the “we will do” does not exclude the “we will hear.” [Annette Aronowicz translation]
Suggested Discussion Questions:
1. What is Levinas putting forth about human interaction?
2. What is our responsibility toward others?
3. What social justice themes emerge from this text?
Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)