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Re: another question

Posted by ayrity on January 12, 2005, at 23:21:33

In reply to another question ayrity, posted by judy1 on January 12, 2005, at 12:23:49

I'll break up your post and answer your questions below as best I can. Remember, I'm not a Jewish scholar and I do not have any advanced knowledge in these matters. I come from a Conservative Jewish background and typical after-school Hebrew school type education.

>You mentioned that to ask questions is a hallmark of the Jewish faith- is that akin to a crisis of faith (you can tell I have a Catholic background)? or is that more in the line of broadening one's knowledge?

Well it can be either, but the important thing is that questioning G-d does not necessarily mean one has lost faith. It means that one is trying to understand G-d better, and, in a way, hold G-d accountable to his obligations (covenant if you wiil) to mankind.

>And is the study of the Talmud the most important aspect of understanding (that may have been on the site, sorry if I missed it)?

Depends who you ask. Many authorities state that the Torah (the 5 Books of Moses) is the most important thing to study and all else is secondary. However, a good deal of emphasis and time is placed on learning Talmud, which is often necessary to amplify one's knowledge of the Torah- I think this varies from group to group (ie Hasidim vs Modern Orthodox, vs Consevative, etc.)

>....and if it is, I imagine one must have a complete knowledge of Hebrew- would rabbis of all branches of Judaism (orthodox, conservative and reform) have this knowledge?

The Talmud is available in English translation. However, much analysis of the Torah relies on the Hebrew language itself- its nuances, its numerical associations, etc. So any deep study of the Talmud or Torah would need to be in Hebrew, but for the average person English might be sufficient (an Orthodox Jew would likely disagree about that). Orthodox and Conservative Rabbis are fluent in Hebrew from my experience. I don't know about Reform Rabbis but I think they generally are, too.

> thanks again for your patience- judy

Sure thing! :-)




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