60.00 LEAPS OF FAITH
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Man of Halachah is prepared to take leaps of faith, but, notwithstanding his acceptance of his own finitude, he is averse to the emotionally absurd. Thus, Judaism generally shies away from leaps of faith that are either intellectually flawed or emotionally grating.167 Judaism has historically distinguished and differentiated itself by carefully circumscribing the “blind faith” aspect of religion and carefully appealing to reasoned theological development. While Judaism embraces selected “leaps of faith” as well as the concept of purely ritual law (chok), the general thrust of Jewish theology, given the choice, is the line of reasoned analysis.
Judaism already requires several serious “leaps of faith” from its adherents.168 One can argue that these include the (interrelated) leaps thatâ€”
there is a Divine, as Judaism perceives God;
the Torah and its text are genuine, correct, and accurate;
â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”- NOTES â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”â€”-
167 See Greenberg. “Cloud of Smoke, Pillar of Fire,” p. 27.
168 See Malbim: “. . . the whole of Judaism, apart from these two precepts [the existence and unity of God] is based on faith, faith in Moses as the messenger of God; faith that all that he commanded constituted the authentic message of God.” As cited in Leibowitz, Studies in Shemot, p. 304. The aforementioned two precepts are attainable, according to the Malbim, Rambarn, and others, by intellectual discernment.
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