Let My People Know

"The relation between God and the Assembly of Israel has been likened to that between man and wife"

“In many respects, tradition in Judaism is called Torah.

And this is one of the words that have no exact trans­lation; the accepted translation, law, is certainly incorrect.

Torah, even in its verbal meaning, includes the Bible as well as the law, philosophy, dream, legend, and everything else that constitutes human life.

The one word, Torah, signifies that which instructs and enlightens; it is much broader and more dynamic a concept than simply the teaching.

And the subject of Torah, that which carries it, or the medium through which it is manifest, is Knesset Yisrael.

The trans­lated concept is ‘the assembly of Israel,’ but it is not at all a statistical totality or a numerical sum of a particular group of people.

It is that which one may loosely call the soul of the people.

Most important is its function as the bearer of the Torah.

In many ways its life and actions are themselves among the creative forces of Torah, of tradition.

The Jew­ish community keeps determining Halakhah, doctrine and custom, at every crossroad.

The decision is made by con­sulting the Torah and then itself becomes Torah, so that Knesset Yisrael is not the passive bearer of a yoke of Torah and law that has been thrust upon it—it is an active com­ponent of the Torah.

Its entire being is a constant merging of life and Torah and the result is the essence of Jewish tradition.

Not in vain has the relation between God and Knesset Yisrael been likened to that between man and wife.”

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

On Being Free by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz