Monday, March 15, 2004

I wrote this in an email to Ben Overlander earlier this evening:

I thought a bit about something you said to me before I left. We were walking back from Masorti Beit Midrash and you said you thought my couple months of Talmud study and yeshiva life would probably be pretty interesting but it was unlikely to give me any spiritual epiphanies. You were right. But I'm beginning to think that Judaism intentionally makes no distinction between the 'spiritual' and the 'commonplace'. People think Talmud is absurd and nitpicky - and it is. It deals with everyday details but the fact that our tradition views the formulation of these problems as holy intentionally says: it's not good enough to view only the transcendent moments as the spiritually important ones. So when I'm learning every morning about the distance one man places his tree from another man's field, I'm not making any great truthful discoveries. But I am learning that that's OK and no less part of an authentically God-centred religion.

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