Thursday, September 04, 2014

The founding Rabbis

Ysoscher Katz writes:

>> Likewise, I don't accept the Divinity of the Torah because of Maimonides' eighth principle. As a matter of fact, I sometimes have trouble with Maimonides' arguments, I don't always find them compelling or convincing. Instead, I believe that the Torah is Divine because I chose to believe that; because believing in the Divinity of the Torah adds a spiritual dimension to my moral and religious pursuits, something it otherwise would not have 

I disagree here: You can believe in the Divinity of the Torah without also accepting Maimonides 8th principle. Its not a choice between one or the other. You can, for example, discover a spiritual dimension in your religious and spiritual pursuits if you believe, as I do, that - irrespective of what Moshe received - the Rabbis had the authority to create halacha and that they succeeded in creating something majestic and eternal.

By way of analogy, consider how a certain type of patriot views the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. Everyone knows that Constitution is a historic document created by fallible, limited men. No one thinks the enlightenment values upon which the Founders based the Constitution came down from a mountain.

Nonetheless, a certain type of patriot assigns a spiritual dimension to their success. He's reluctant to modify their teachings, forever attempting to uncover their original intent, and hostile to suggestions that what they created might be flawed. He believes that the world would be made better if all people accepted the truths of their teachings. He'd go to war to defend their values, and  he might even be willing to support a George W. Bush sponsored crusade to deliver the Good News to infidels.

 I am not that type of patriot but I am something like that type of Jew.


This is an analogy, meaning its not going to match up on every point. I am only trying to make it match on the following point: People can know something is man made and still get romantic, and passionate and spiritual about it. Therefore, pace Ysoscher Katz, you don't need to recognize the Divinity of the Torah in order to get romantic and spiritual and passionate about the halachic system.
  Search for more information about ###

No comments: