Thursday, October 23, 2008
[Simchas Torah at the Western Wall – Jerusalem]
Yesterday I had the privilege of dancing with the Torah scroll in my synagogue on Simchas Torah. As I was doing so, it occurred to me what a marvelous document I was holding. This book is the source for Judaism, Christianity and Islam in all their various forms. It is the basis of Western civilization. Compare the Torah to, for example, the Iliad. The Iliad may be an interesting story, however what did the world learn from it? Without the Torah, there would be no concept of monotheism and altruism. There would not even be an alphabet; the Torah is the oldest complete book written using one.
Critics are quick to point out that the Torah also teaches violence, which is true, for example Numbers 31. However on the other hand, the Torah did not invent violence and surely history would have been equally violent had the Torah never been written.
The longest chapter in the Hebrew Bible, Psalms 119, is nothing but a long series of praises to this greatest book ever published.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 12:05 PM