Buber believed that each person is a unique expression of the generic Adam and that generic Adam is present in each human forms. This belief is expressed in the title of the last hebrew collection of Buber’s essays, Pnei Adam (The Faces of Adam), published in 1960. This collection includes essays on philosophy, philosophical anthropoloy; ethics, and relgion. They address what Buber perceived as a common misunderstanding about the essential nature of being human and indicate alternative ways of looking at how to live a good life and now to seek individual perfection.

Buber never describes the features of the divine face, or the human faces. What they look like before, during, or after blessed being in love. ”O lonely face like a star in the night” Buber exclaims. ” O living finger laid on an unheeding brow”. This metaphor evokes the memory of Michelangelo’s painting of the creation on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, in which the index finger of God, who looks fully on Adam’s face, is about to touch his oustretched hand. For Buber, the mutual being achieved does not occur through gazin upon a face, but through a speech act.


Unfortunately I cannot find any translation of this book in English.

פני אדם – Pnei Adam