The Torah is Not a Science Textbook

But, before we open [the Torah], let us consider how we shall read it. Not for the purpose of making philological and antiquarian investigations, nor to find support and corroboration for antediluvian or geological hypotheses, nor either in the expectation of unveiling supermundane mysteries, but as Jews must we read it — that is to say, looking upon it as a book given to us by God that we may learn from it to know ourselves — what we are, and what we should be in this our earthly existence. It must be to us Torah — that is, instruction and guidance in this divine world; a generator of spiritual life within us. Our desire is to apprehend Judaism; therefore, we must take up our position in thought within Judaism, and must ask ourselves, “What will human beings be who recognize the contents of this book as a basis and rule of life given to them by God ?”

 

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