Let My People Know

"The dilemma of the model that serves as an aid and becomes an obstacle"


One often observes how scientists, in attempting to explain unseen phenomena, will fall back on their own private realms of experience. 

We are limited by the fact that even ideas of vast proportions cannot be expressed except by ourselves. 

And all we can do is admit that the expression is not completely true, that it is woefully inadequate.

Anyone who needs models or metaphors for his work has often encountered the difficulty of being unable to extricate himself from the model and of going back to the original.

The simplified sample has a hold over the mind that the complex source cannot always have. 

Indeed, everyone clings to a particular model of things, and this often serves as an obstacle to the truth of the matter. 

Of course, without these models it is virtually impossible to solve many problems.

Indeed, in all the fields of human knowledge, we have the dilemma of the model that serves as an aid and becomes an obstacle to understanding.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From The Sustaining Utterance by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz