Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “Viewing all of life as a comprehensive system.”

Whoever regards the Torah as the law book of a particular religious system distorts Judaism and, thereby, the proper understanding of the Torah’s essential nature.

A religion is a conceptual and practical framework whose purpose is to regulate part of life – the part of life that has to do with serving God.

Judaism, however, as expressed in the Torah, cannot be limited within such a partial framework.

Its whole essence is in viewing all of life as a comprehensive system, encompassing all the ways and details of the Jewish People’s life in a special pattern.

Hence, the Torah includes not only elements of worship (“between man and God”) and regulation of society (“between man and his fellow man”), but also history and poetry, moral guidance and words of prophecy, categorical pronouncements and words of perplexity and doubt.

Moreover, all these components do not appear as distinct parts that join together, but as one, undivided essence.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz