Intellectual Judaism saved Jews – Intellectual Rabbis saved Judaism


Although many young Jews after their bar/bat-mitzvah as well as many Jewish adults are abandoning their synagogues, they remain Torah-based Jewish.  To understand why they remain solidly Jewish, we have to understand the two foundations of being Jewish – Intellectual Judaism and Intellectual Rabbis.

From the very beginning, from the times of Mount Sinai and Moses, these two foundations were in play.

At the heart of Intellectual Judaism is the guidance of the Torah on building the human realm in accordance with the laws created by the Supreme Power above us the humans – by the Supreme Power with many images and names.

At the heart of Intellectual rabbis is the obligation to safeguard the religion of Judaism created by us the Jews to strengthen our unique mission of the Chosen assigned to us, as we believe by the same Supreme Power.

Intellectual Judaism

God created all humans in His image and likeness. He created in His image and likeness those who believe in His existence and those who do not. He created in His image both Rabbis and an Ordinary Jews. He provided the Torah as the spiritual guidance for everybody, and He made the Torah’s instructions understandable by everybody and tailorable to individual life circumstances.

The Torah/Bible provides a clear description of His image.

God is an All Mighty “individual” who created His world and us the humans in this world. He created us the humans as individuals “in His image and liking” – not as a collective human herd. God created the laws that are governing our human life and our human creative work. He created the laws for everybody – for those who believe in the image of All Mighty as the loving father that takes care of us and for those who believe in the image of All Mighty as Big Bang that created our universe.

To follow the image and likeness of God, a human-individual creates his or her individual realm and personal approach for managing it. It is done almost intuitively, on the “genetic” knowledge of the God’s laws that are governing our human lives.

The individual realm includes a family, a work place, a social circle, a political affiliation, a religious institution, and so on. A Jewish individual is managing his/her realm using a God-given intellect that is genetically transferred from generation to generation from the times of Mount Sinai. A Jewish teacher, or a rabbi in his capacity as a teacher, may help a Jewish individual to apply the God’s laws to an individual’s realm. That is Intellectual Judaism in action – it connects a Jewish individual to the God’s guidance on how to live “in the image and likeness of God”.

Intellectual Judaism assumes a Jewish individual is capable to make his/her own decisions on how to follow the Torah-based guidance with an advice if needed from a rabbi or other Jewish spiritual sources. In Intellectual Judaism, the rabbis are just the teachers – they are not dictatorial spiritual leaders.

The Jews who are leaving their rabbis and synagogues they are not leaving their Jewish faith. They are leaving their rabbis and synagogues because they do not see any spiritual connection of a Rabbinical-Judaism variety around them with the spiritual problems of their own individual realms. Most of them are not converting to a non-Jewish faith – they just stop listening to their authoritative rabbis. If Intellectual rabbis of Rabbinical Judaism want to reduce the number of the “leaving Jews”, they have to teach them how to apply the Torah guidance to different individual realms – not to indoctrinate the individuals in a Rabbinical-Judaism variety.

Intellectual rabbis

Intellectual rabbis of the traditional rabbinical Judaism have been the keepers of Judaism as a religion. They believe that a Jew is not born with a sort of genetic – transferred from generation to generation from the times of Mount Sinai – Torah guidance that should be just clarified in the course of formal Jewish education. They believe that the Torah guidance is too complicated for an ordinary Jewish individual and therefore the rabbis have to provide Jewish individuals with authoritative opinion on how to follow the Torah-based guidance. In the traditional rabbinical Judaism, intellectual rabbis are less teachers and more authoritarian spiritual leaders.

In the Jewish past, Intellectual rabbis were the most important foundation for being Jewish. That is so since the Jews were deprived from the knowledge of the great God’s world surrounding them – they were restrained by imposed on them numerous regulations. In addition, the Jews had no free time to learn on their own about the great God’s world surrounding them – most of them were spending all lifetime, after studying the Torah in the school, to provide bare necessities for the family.

Now in the Jewish present, the Jews have no restrains and a lot of free time to learn everything of their interest. The Jewish nation has moved, and continues moving, from a people who need authoritative leaders to a people comprised of individuals who are trying to discover on their own how to interpret the Torah guidance to make it workable and tailored to every individual realm.

The 2015 Pew survey revealed that out of 6.8 million US Jews only about one-quarter of them are with strong religious beliefs. That means that the majority of US Jews either do not consider a rabbi to be an authoritative guide on their spiritual life challenges or do not have a guiding rabbi at all.

Bringing closer Intellectual Judaism and Intellectual rabbis

We have to make Intellectual Judaism and Intellectual Rabbis working together. We have to return the Jews to synagogues and the synagogues to real Jewish realms with their work places, social circles, political affiliations, Christian religious institutions, etc.

There is no way to return the Jewish majority back to rabbis but for the rabbis to get involved in the individual Jewish spiritual realms to build together a better world for everybody – the Jews, the Christians and everybody else who accept the spiritual foundation of Judeo-Christian civilization. The rabbis have to begin building a better world for everybody not just by preaching, praying, holiday’s celebrations or doing bar/bat-mitzvahs. They have to become active and leading in promoting and defending the legislature based on The Torah/Bible guidance – and do all that in close collaboration with Christian religious leaders.

About Vladimir Minkov

Vladimir Minkov Ph.D. is a nuclear scientist, published author and writer. He is the co-author of "Nuclear Shadow Boxing", a scientific history of the nuclear confrontation between the Soviet Union and USA during the cold war and is the author of "The Jews and Their Role in Our World", which explores his personal journey to discovering Jewish identity. Having lost much of his family in the Holocaust and finding his search for spiritual development stifled in the Soviet Union, Vladimir migrated to the United States in the late 1970s.

Posted on April 21, 2015, in English-language posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Once both Jews and Christians are free from intellectual (some would say spiritual, some would say both) bondage via bad shepherding, as Elohim calls it in Ezekiel 34, it will be interesting to see how He leads His people back into one fold, if you will.

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  2. It might be Elohim has already begun to lead His people back into one fold as could be seen from this information of today’s papers:

    “Pope Francis will confer papal knighthood on Rabbi Arthur Schneier of Manhattan’s Park East Synagogue.

    Schneier, the founder of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and a Holocaust survivor, is being honored for his work promoting peace and mutual understanding, according to Vatican officials. Schneier will formally become a knight of Saint Sylvester at a ceremony on April 27 at the official residence of the Vatican’s representative to the United Nations, Archbishop Bernardito Auza. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York is slated to be present.

    Other members of the Order of Saint Sylvester include the late entertainer Bob Hope and Oskar Schnidler, the German industrialist credited with saving more than 1,000 Jews from the Nazis.

    “Pope Francis is bestowing the honor on Rabbi Arthur Schneier, who has worked unceasingly to promote peace and mutual understanding, in the firm conviction that respect for fundamental human rights, including religious freedom, are indispensable values for all peoples of the world to enjoy peace, security and shared prosperity,” Auza said in a statement. “A Holocaust survivor, Rabbi Schneier has always held this conviction in his heart and made it a principle of life.”

    When the last pope, Benedict XVI, visited New York in April 2008, he visited Schneier’s synagogue, where the two exchanged gifts. Schneier was given a replica of a medieval Jewish manuscript from the Vatican library, and the pope received a seder plate, a Haggadah and a box of matzah.”

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  3. Yes, Elohim is uniting His people. I am all for that. If I am to use Torah as my guide, which I do, to the best I can with the understanding I have of it today, then I have a heads up that an Ishmael, figuratively speaking, comes first. King Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun, and Isaiah speaks about Elohim revealing the end from the beginning. Edom has been trying to destroy Jacob since the womb. This is what I see playing out today. It really is that simple. Edom is hell-bent on destroying Jacob. Anyone opposing all that Elohim stands for and does, is an Edomite. Edomites may come across as kind, nice, peaceful, even spiritual and holy. But upon further investigation as to the intentions of these people, their intentions are not good. In the Tanach, Elohim warns His people not to seek out to be like the nations around them, lest they be scattered among the nations, ironically. In the Renewed Covenant, the same is recommended, just in a different wording. I have a question, it could be rhetorical, if one wants to take it that way. What if, per chance, Elohim is using the current reign of terror that is Islam, which has been very successful in destroying whole civilizations (do people realize this has been going of for nearly fifteen hundred years?!!), to bring about an exodus of His people out of the systems of the world, out of the nations where He scattered them, and back into His original plan for His people, that being where He is their Elohim, and they are His people, the Torah being the constitution? When I read the bible, in its entirety, meaning, the Tanach being the truth, or foundational, part, the other part being the Spirit part, what I have just written above is what I see.

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    • It is a very interesting comparison of the Jews and the Edomites. It well might be that the entire contemporary Jewish Nation consists of the Jews and the Edomites, and the Edomites are those who are anti-Israel and even Anti-Judeo-Christian.
      As concerned to the unification of all Jews in the Promised Land, I value much more not unification in one place on the earth called the Promised Land but rather unification spiritual in the Promised Land of the Bible. Look at the State of Israel – do you see Edomites there?

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  4. Do I see Edomites in Eretz Israel? Oh yes, sir I do indeed!!! What is your idea of The Promised Land of the Bible to you? I always saw it as in the Middle East.

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    • I cherish much more spiritual unification of the Jews independently of our location. Our major Jewish challenge is inability to spiritually unite ourselves based on a unified interpretation of the Torah. If we are all together in the Promised Land in the Biblical Israel with no Torah-based unification – that’s not what Elohim expects from us.
      Thanks for your participation and very inspiring thoughts.

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  5. Just to clarify, in case it is needed, I see Edomties in all walks of life, in all political groups, etc. They are currently building a counterfeit unification at the moment, at least that is how I see it. And yes, the battle is for the Eretz Israel. Zechariah said that Jerusalem would become a burden oping the nations. Why would that be if it weren’t so important to Elohim? Thank you for your time, I have spent an inordinate amount of time here, enjoyed every minute of it, but life must go on….

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  6. Aw, this was a really nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to make
    a very good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and
    never seem to get anything done.

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