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From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 19:48:45 -0500 Subject: Psychology of Belief I would like to briefly respond to questions #2 and #3 of Dr Schimmel's list. I believe that modern scholars reject Torah MiSinai because they do not have the analytic tools by which to understand the text--since they do not understand the text they reject it--but they are really rejecting only an improperly translated text. How do I deal with Biblical Scholarship Questions? In the way just indicated: I was fortunate to have learned basic fundamental techniques on interpreting halacha and Midrash. I think the preservation of Judaism requires the same. I would encourage more indepth Talmud Torah that regards Midrash and Halachah as emanating from deep well thought out reasons. There are a variety of books and thoughts that deal with the above approach: e.g Nechama Leibowithz on Rashi and Parshanuth Malbim on the grammatical treatment of Midrash Halacha Rav Chayiims methods for understanding jewish Legal texts Rav Hirsch's symbolic methods for understanding Taamay Mitzvoth The list could go on and include many books which defend our Torah as a rational deep book--e.g. I could add Aviva Zornbergs recent book on Genesis which deals with the human nature and emotional side of Biblical characters. I deeply believe that biblical scholars have ignored the above modern approachs and that the only way we can preserve our identity is by learning. I hope others echo my belief also Russell Jay Hendel, Phd, ASA rhendel @ mcs drexel edu