Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “At least pronounce the holy words.”

Judaism cannot demand that every individual study Torah on all its levels, for not everyone has the intellectual and spiritual abilities to do so.

Nevertheless, every person is capable of, and obliged to, at least pronounce the holy words.

If a person recites Psalms even without understanding, he is performing the commandment of “you shall meditate upon it day and night.”

He forms the same connection with divinity as does the wisest master of Torah.

Although there is a difference between a simple person reciting Psalms and a scholar studying the most profound passages of the Talmud, it is not clear who has the advantage.

The person reciting Psalms may not understand the words, but he recites them with total selflessness.

On the other hand, the scholar who understands what he is learning is liable to be inflated with feelings of pride.

And then it might have been preferable had he only been reciting Psalms without understanding them.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz