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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “What does sanity mean?”

The Talmud is, first and foremost, a book that promotes, creates and achieves sanity.

Sanity is a rare quality in the world in general, and most especially in the world of today.

Our world of is made up of all sorts of crazy people, all kinds of craziness: people who are crazy for power, for money, for all kinds of base desires, people with all kinds of strange, bizarre ideas.

So now, when craziness is all common, what we really need in the world, in order to keep its continuous existence, is sanity.

What does sanity mean?

To be sane is not to be indifferent; to be sane is not to stop caring.

Rather, sanity is like an electro-cardiogram: it contains the ups and the downs, but all of them within limits.

The Talmud deals with the minutest practical problems, some of which are unimportant, insignificant in themselves, as well as with universal problems and with Divinity, and it deals with them all at the same time.

This is sanity.

Sanity means that we laugh and we cry, and we do it all in the right way and in the right measure.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz