Never has the conflict between what the individual needs and what society needs, between the desire for personal freedom to do what "I" think is best to take care of myself and the desire to receive the embrace of a "another” that makes me feel like I belong, been so evident
The phrase from the Talmud refers to the need to be for myself, because if not, who will be? But it also asks if I am only for myself, what am I?
Emanuel Levinas helps us understand that the human being is constructed in the relationship between being for myself and the bond with the other. What makes us be something more than just a "living being" is precisely the construction of our existence through the interaction with the act of belonging to the community that constitutes us.
There is no way to be a "human being" if we do not resolve this false dichotomy: there is no self without the other, there is no other without me.