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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Judaism and Philosophical Speculation

I was recently asked to write an article of philosophical interest for a Jewish publication. The content is aimed at the lay-person, but perhaps people here will find it interesting. I'd be grateful, as ever, for your comments.
As a modern orthodox Jew, I am keenly aware of the value and weight that we place upon secular studies and rational inquiry. This emphasis is one of the key features that distinguishes our community from other varieties of orthodoxy. For that reason, we must be certain to pay attention to a certain Mishna, the first Mishna in the second chapter of tractate Haggiga. As we’ll see, it looks like a Mishna that’s specifically aimed at forbidding the study of philosophy and limiting our freedom of thought.