Moshe Ben-Chaim

Some ideas – more than others – require repetition. But the most fundamental idea, is the one that  exists in every truth. I refer to "reason". Any truth must follow reason. For truth and reason are synonymous. For when we say something is true, it means that our minds comprehend that the subject discussed reflects reality. We say 2+2=4 is true, since we see this is so in the universe. We say it is true that justice is proper, since it creates a harmonious state allowing mankind to function as he is designed; in peace, and with good neighbors. It supports ideas of property and personal rights. 

I mention all this, after having heard someone attempt to explain that a "certain number correlates to holiness". I don't know what that means, since such words are unintelligible, nor was that person able to explain it himself. Does he even know what holiness is, that he talks of it? He was merely parroting what he felt was a Torah idea. Many people do these days. Other people believe that financial successes can be caused without working; that health can be generated without exercise, diet or medicine; and that inanimate objects might affect people without contact. Do you feel this is "true"?

However, if we insist on reasonable explanations for ideas we hear or read, and do not accept whatever someone says or everything in print – regardless of reputation – we will not be led astray. We will not forfeit our lives merely "believing" we are following Torah. 

There are so many forms of "Judaism" today. So many conflicting notions. They cannot all be correct, since they conflict. How then do we determine what is authentically "Torah", and what is a charade? The answer is "reason". If an idea complies with reason, it is true. If it does not, then it may be due to our limited capacity to grasp, or it may be false. In that case, we must consult someone we know is wise, and have him or her explain it to us until we grasp a truth or falsehood. or we must consult the ancient ideas of our Rabbis. And our greatest of Rabbis – Maimonides – explains that reason must be what determines any truth, Torah and otherwise. God created both – the physical world, and the world of ideas and Torah. The same intelligence witnessed in creation, must be witnessed in Torah. 

How sublime it is then, that God commences His Torah, with Creation. Of course, it came first, but Torah is not a history book. Torah's first verse that God created the universe, embodies our idea that God created both: the "Torah" starts with "nature". Both realms must be approached with reason. Think about it.