Saturday, January 26, 2008


Yitro Blogging

What does it mean that we Jews were all at Sinai? What does "this day" mean -- i.e. what does it mean that we are to consider the revelation at Sinai to have not occurred sometime in the past but on this very day, today?

Does it mean that we are to consider that the Law revealed to Moses at Sinai is per se contemporary and we should not even consider changing it? Or does it mean that when considering the Torah we should remember the context of its revelation -- i.e. at Sinai, right after the Exodus from Egypt -- and not only remember the context but to, when studying Torah and trying to figure out what it means, place ourselves at Sinai and consider our present to be that of the long ago past of Sinai so that we can fully understand what the Torah meant to someone physically, rather than spiritually at Sinai? And once we have that understanding, only then can we think of how to apply the Teachings of Torah to the modern day?

And what was revealed at Sinai anyway? Was all Torah revealed at Sinai as Rabbinic Judaism claims in its "vital lie" or was it something mystical? Interestingly, while we tend to think of mystics as neo-Platonist and the Tannaim as practically pragmatists, the idea that the Rabbis merely discover, in their casuistry, that which is objectively "out there" is rather Platonic, isn't it? And the mystical idea of the revelation of nothingness and silence actually is pragmatic as it allows revelation to be that which we experience?

And can both views be true? After all, we are taught "shamor v'zochor v'dibur echad", eh?


Meanwhile, go to Nate's blog ... he has video up from my wedding. ;)

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