Sunday, 4 August 2013

Hirhurim: Three Practical Ways Bad Theology Hurts Us

«It is easier to define technical Sabbath observance, the avoidance of Sabbath violations, than it is to prescribe how to reach the state of shevittah, of leaving the week behind in the name of discovering the greater reality of the world that will one day come, a world that is "all Shabbat." It is easier to define kosher food and kosher tefillin and kosher tzitzit than it is to lay out exactly how love and fear of Hashem work, to speak of moral and ethical obligations instead of speaking of trying to understand how Tanach and Chazal describe Hashem's impact on the world. It is easier to delineate what kinds of speech we should avoid as slander or gossip than it is to lay out where we should trust Hashem to handle our future and where we should take care of it ourselves. It is easier to pick a good lulav than it is to recognize where the events of my life are a call from Hashem to change what I'm doing. We go with what is easy.

That doesn't change the fact that there are mitzvoth, direct Biblical obligations, to create some kind of positive state of rest on Shabbat, to love and fear Hashem, to imitate Hashem's ways of impacting the world, to trust Hashem rather than adopting non-Jews' ways of trying to predict and control the future, and to be aware of where Hashem's impact on our lives is a message, a call to improve who we are.

Each of those more amorphous mitzvoth becomes harder to fulfill, even to recognize the need to fulfill them, if our theological views go awry...»
Three Practical Ways Bad Theology Hurts Us | Hirhurim – Torah Musings

Best Regards,

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