Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How can we follow an imperfect Torah?

On Facebook, in a Jewish group dedicated to debate and discussion between believers and non-believers someone asked:

"How can a book such as this, written with misleading passages, be used as a guide?"
I answered:

Short answer? It can't.
Not so much because of scientifically inexact passages, but more because of the commandments of slavery and genocide called for therein.
That's why very few Jews today actually use the Torah as any sort of guide for living. Rather, they use a vast body of interpretations of the Torah as their guides, interpretations that span well over 2 millenia. It is upon those interpretations that Judaism rests, not the original document (which even has interpretations in the actual text).
It's not about the foundational text, admittedly a composite document of bronze and iron age legends and laws, it's what we do with it. 

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