May 21, 2019

Reverse-Engineering the Divine Will

“In Israel, more men study in religious academies than do in university. The ones at yeshiva or kollel, schools for unmarried and married men respectively, have some idea what is taught at universities. The ones at university have no idea what’s being taught at the Jewish academies.

What actually are yeshiva students doing? They are trying to understand the will of God.”

According to religious belief, prophecy ceased to exist at the very beginning of the First Temple period, with the death of the last prophets Haggai and Malachi (or, as some believe, Ezra). Since then, God has been silent, and Jews have had to rely on the laws he had already handed down to us through revelation.

God’s revelations are manifested in the written law: the Torah and the rest of the Bible, and the Oral Law, which religious Jews believe God gave to Moses together with the Torah atop Mount Sinai.

This Oral Law is believed to contain the correct interpretation of the Torah as well as supplemental laws and instruction, without which the Torah would be incomprehensible.”

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