Dr Tom Kerns
North Seattle Community College
Study Questions for
Martin Buber's The Way
- What is the key message of the first
story (pp 9-10), and why is it said "But his heart trembled?"
- What is the key point of the second
section, "The Particular Way?"
- Explain, as best you can, the point Buber
is making on p 18, lines 8-24 (i.e., the 12 lines that begin "Everyone has in him something precious..." and end with "Thus a man finds his way").
- In section III, what do you see as the
difference between "patchwork" and "resolution?"
- What do you consider "oneness of soul"
(in section III) to consist of?
- Explain the main message of Section IV.
(Much of it is clarified on pp. 28-29; in the Citadel edition which includes "The Ten Rungs" this is pp 25-26).
- Try to think of an example, perhaps from
your own experience or from imagination, that can illustrate this Hasidic
principle that says: conflicts we have with another person are often just
mirror images of the same conflict going on within our own psyche. Please
describe that example.
- What does Buber mean in Section V, by
not being "preoccupied with oneself?" How might forgiveness
of oneself (or forgiveness of another) fit into that?
- What do you see as the main theme of Section
- How might there be a "treasure"
buried in your own present life situation? What might the "treasure"
be that can be found only in your particular place?
- What do you think Buber means by the first
line on p 41?
(In the Citadel edition which includes The Ten Rungs, this question refers to the quote on the last page of the Way of Man, 8 lines up from the bottom of the page.)
(If you like, see the additional
-- not required --
personal reflection questions for The Way of Man)
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