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Isn't it pretty?

Friday, May 06, 2005


Sorry I haven't been posting so much lately, but I have been swamped at work and am preparing for finals, so I haven't had a moment to blog, or even read other blogs. I wanted to post further about about the importance of questioning things. I have a real problem when people say that you shouldn't question. And I have heard it a lot, which concerns me greatly. I think those who say you shouldn't question things, say it because they don't know the answers. But just because they don't know the answer, doesn't mean that there isn't an answer and it doesn't mean that it is not worthwhile to seek it. Someone told me recently that they were told that yeshivas were telling their students that those who question the Torah will go off the derech, and so you shouldn't question at all. That really bothers me. To me, using that kind of excuse as a reason to not question limits the power of the Torah. Whoever was saying that is sending the message that Torah can stand up to being questioned, it is not a strong enough force to withstand the questions, and that there are no answers. The problem with that is that Torah is something you base your entire being around. And to base your entire being around something that can't withstand being questioned is to say that it is not worth revolving your life around it. This is the same problem I have with the whole Slifkin issue - if Torah can't stand up to scientific evidence, and the suggestion is that you not look at the evidence, but to go back several hundred years and block out what is happening in the world is to say that there is no answer, that Torah can't go be held up to current research. And why would I want to live my life based on something that can't possibly stand up to modern science? If Hashem really is all-powerful, then He is also giving us these modern breakthroughs in technology, and His Torah will endure. I have had people in the past tell me to stop questioning things I don't understand about Torah and focus on more immediate concerns, things that effect me on a day to day basis, rather than more intellectual questions that may not come into play every day. And to me, that is sweeping aside the fact that the person I am asking just doesn't know the answer right then. I think every question I have about Torah is important, because the concept in general is what I base my every day approach to life on. And maybe I won't ever be able to completely understand everything, but I think it is important to try. I recently was corresponding with someone and the question came up about whether he was shomer shabbos. His reply was that he wasn't sure whether he was shomer shabbos or not. Because he doesn't know enough to know whether he is. I was blown away at such an honest approach to it. Because I have seen many who take for granted that they are shomer shabbos do things that are against halacha, because they didn't know the law. They didn't ever bother to really ask, what is keeping shabbos? The questions are so important, and to imply that any shouldn't be asked is scary. I hope that I never accept that I shouldn't question things as an answer.


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