Spiritual experiences may represent our yearning for the “infinite”, but this yearning can only find expression in seeking to improve ourselves to the best of our ability and seeking to relate with love to the people and the world around us, while at the same time coming to an acceptance of our finiteness and separateness, overcoming the grief and outrage we feel at not being everything. Yearning for the infinite is really a way of learning how to be finite.
Religious experience is not necessarily any more valuable than purely spiritual experience. A vital part of the defining genius of the Jewish tradition is that it produced an intricate set of observances which, together, create an experiential space which is hospitable to spiritual experience and, to an extent, stimulates it.
What turns a spiritual experience into a religious one is the training and preparation that creates a religiously shaped receptacle for an experience or at least a religious vector for channeling the experience.
In evaluating Rabbi Cardozo’s critique of Rav Yoseph Dov Soloveitchik, it is important to clarify that Rabbi Cardozo criticizes Rav Soloveitchik from the perspective of the burning issues that are important to Rabbi Cardozo (i.e. changes in Halacha, daring theological approaches etc.), and it should not be seen as a general evaluation of Rav Soloveitchik’s philosophical legacy as a whole.
Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveitchik thought is greatly indebted to Kantian philosophy. In contenting himself with the philosophical world of Kant, JBS shows himself to be thoroughly unmodern in his philosophical approach to halacha.