Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Rigorous mental work is considered a holy occupation"

"The very essence of the Talmud is a paradox.

There is no more intellectual a book than the Talmud, in which all questions are permitted and even desirable, a book which contains dozens of different terms for various kinds of questions.

Any proof given must be almost mathematical, and the slightest flaw may lead to the rejection of a beautifully reasonable chain of thought.

On the other hand, it is not just a sacred book in itself.

This everlasting, rigorous mental work is considered a holy occupation, the very study of which is a form of worship.

One definition of it is – Sacred Intellectualism, communion by reason."

--Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From an essay titled “The Talmud” by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz