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The Difference Between Traditional and Intellectual Interpretations of the Torah

The principle difference between traditional and intellectual interpretations of the Torah consists of the following.

The traditional interpretation of the Torah proceeds from the assumption that the Most High created our world unchanging in principle – either nothing changes in our world or something changes in a certain way beforehand. And if that is so, then there must be some kind of unambiguous interpretation of the Torah explaining everything that occurs in our world unambiguously. One needs to seek out and obey this interpretation. The adherents of the traditional interpretation of the Torah think that such an interpretation of the Torah has been found. And all attempts to look for something else are anathema and an avoidance of Judaism. Though the adherents of the traditional interpretation of the Torah don’t even concur with this statement, but think essentially that the Most High is fully knowable and they have experienced him in their own interpretation of the Torah.  

The intellectual interpretation of the Torah thinks that the Most High created our world as changing constantly and that the Most High Himself is fully unknowable. Therefore, the Torah cannot have an unambiguous interpretation.  One can know the Most High and the Torah only through multiple interpretations of the Torah and the test of these interpretations against the facts of real life.  Read the rest of this entry

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