Projecting Greatness? A Ten Commandments’ Tale

projecting is often seen with individuals who engage in bad or immoral conduct. they often accuse others engaging in the conduct when they are in fact engaging in it. is there projecting greatness?

maimonides, an historic great thinkers, was perhaps projecting when he conveyed the notion that one should, beside studying torah, also work. “[a]nyone who comes to the conclusion that he should involve himself in torah study without doing work and derive his livelihood from charity, desecrates [god’s] name, dishonors the torah, extinguishes the light of faith, brings evil upon himself, and forfeits the life of the world to come, for it is forbidden to derive benefit from the words of torah in this world.” talmud torah 3:10

while he understood the need to strike a balance, his world view, with his intellect and abilities, may not be the reality for others. maimonides also was not confronted with napoleon’s emancipation. the emancipation opened the jews to the secular world of universities, expanded livelihoods, and civil engagement.

arguably, there has been a reactionary movement with respect to secularism. one could argue that some ultra-orthodox movements seek to recapture religious life pre-emancipation. torah study supplanted secular endeavors. these efforts have had some positives. in new york, the ultra-orthodox movement re-invigorated yiddish as a living language. it has created generations of scholars. the cost, however, have impaired these students the ability to earn a living.

as much as humanity wrestles with god, the religious wrestle with the secular world.

the problem was highlighted in a meet the press type of interview in interview in israel. an ultra-religious member of the knesset had maimonides’ words offered up to him in an embarrassing fashion. he had thought they were the words of a political rival as opposed to one of greatest scholars in jewish history.

one’s perspective can distort one’s thought. a brilliant mind may not be able to wrap themselves around the struggles that others confront in dealing with life’s complexities. what was easy for an accomplished individual may be far more difficult for others. as such, there is the need for many individuals to collaborate together to solve the solution as to how those devoted toward religious study can also have opportunities and the means of earning a living. likewise, there is the need for those who have placed work above everything else in their life to find the time to study and grow in their religious practice.

be well!!

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Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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