Saturday, December 18, 2004

Reasons I Study the Talmud

As may be clear from my profile or not -- I am not Jewish. I almost converted many years ago, but that is a long story that I won't get into now.

However, I would like to share some notes I wrote awhile back on why I am drawn to read and study the Talmud.

I find it:
  1. a work of unimaginable dedication and commitment to God.
  2. a work focused on the particular day-to-day, moment-to-moment elements that make up life (obviously also many moments that don't make up my life -- temple sacrifices, etc.). It truly seems to avoid abstraction and focus on the particular.
  3. a work that accepts discord and multi-valent views of the world.
  4. a work that is basically INFINITE in its scope and depth and diversity.
  5. a work that stimulates intense interest today and has for 1500 years.
  6. a work that connects to the past and holds within it the explanations and explorations of God's will that have continued for over 2000 years.
  7. a work that can help me focus on and recognize the ever-present nature of God.
  8. a work of great creativity and imagination that can help stretch my mind.
  9. a work of which the study is a holy possibility and opportunity.
  10. a work that screams, shouts, contemplates and argues this basic fact -- "We are commanded!" This is something I deeply believe.
  11. a work large enough (a true sea) to welcome even an outsider in, who simply wants to enter and learn out of love
Please share your reasons for studying . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your points are awesome in their insights. They help me