Blogging has been a bit slow lately due to time constraints, so for the benefit of those members of the readership anxious to know what the future holds, I thought it might be a good idea to create a brief post detailing the topics I intend to touch upon over the next several weeks.
1. Prophecy and Torah Misinai.
This is an interesting subject in its own right, and one I plan to explore during Tikkun Leil Shavuot in my synagogue this year, but it is even more poignant in light of recent discussions on the comment threads here. In the process of approaching this topic, I will also complete my analysis of Spinoza vs. Maimonides on the prophecy question, a series I started but neglected to finish last year.
2. Understanding the Written Torah
I will be publishing my usual posts, dedicated to specific problems/questions/ideas that confront us in our study of Tanach, although not necessarily always Parashat Hashavua. I will be making a concerted effort to take up thorny and difficult texts, especially those that have been widely misunderstood or misrepresented.
3. The Oral Torah and Its Relationship to the Written
This is a subject that requires a tremendous amount of attention because it is frequently misconstrued, even by religious and knowledgeable Jews. I will attempt to bring examples that best highlight the need for and function of the Oral Torah in elucidating and clarifying Scripture. For instance, I will work on debunking the myth that the Oral tradition either "adds to", "diminishes" or "fixes" the Sacred Texts, and I will hopefully demonstrate that it in fact serves to bring out their deeper meaning. The methodology and spirit of halakha will also be discussed, so that questions about its ethical character may be put to rest.
4. Jewish Philosophy
A vigorous effort to present and substantiate what I believe to be an authentic, compelling and rational vision of Judaism. Skeptical objections will be dealt with and important distinctions and arguments clarified. Questions like whether the Torah is unique, whether science and Torah conflict, whether God's existence can be proven, and whether there is a difference between belief in the magical and belief in the miraculous will be explored.
5. General Potpourri
I plan to include some isolated posts devoted to other intellectual interests of mine (you may be surprised by some of these) that I think are germane to, and perhaps shed light on, the Torah and its philosophical underpinnings.
I look forward to embarking upon this project over the next several days and weeks.