Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “A question that is badly phrased”

Teachers need not insist that their answers be accepted without reservation.

It is better to try to clarify the questions, their underlying premises, and their interrelationships.

Such clarification tends not only to reduce the number of questions, but also to lead more readily to genuine solutions.

Quite often, the difficulty of answering a particular question (and the even greater difficulty in gaining acceptance for the answer) arises from the fact that it was not a very “smart” question to begin with.

It is far harder to answer a foolish, confused, or poorly formulated question than one that is intelligent and well put.

A question that is badly phrased often conceals the questioner’s real concern.

Then, no matter how well the question is answered, he remains frustrated.”

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz