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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “A mathematical simile”

There is a difference between Torah study and halachic decisions.

Every halachic decision is an attempt to match the world’s concrete reality to one solution chosen from a large number of possible solutions.

To use a mathematical simile:

the Torah can be likened to a high-level equation that gives room to numerous different answers, all of which are correct.

Every halachic decision, then, is not the one and only possible and absolutely true solution.

Rather it is one that can suit the existential physicality of our world, one practically applicable solution to a specific problem.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz