Knowledge and Wisdom

†† The Baal Teshuvah was lecturing the rabbi.The rabbi had been raised ultra-Orthodox, grew up in a yeshiva, had graduated at the top of his class and was hand-picked for his post by his Rabbi who was respected worldwide.Yet, the Baal Teshuvah was lecturing him on a point of law.


†† The Baal Teshuvah knows what he knows. One of the common traps for the Baal Teshuvah is to become overly pleased with his own knowledge.It can be exciting to learn new things and to gain knowledge of Judaism that one never had before.The trap is that the Baal Teshuvah knows what he knows and is impressed.


††† There are 4 levels of Torah interpretation.First is the literal meaning of the text.The next level involves meanings that are alluded to or hinted at in the text.Moral and philosophical explanations make up the next level.The final level consists of the hidden or secret meanings.One may understand a part of Torah on one level but not on a deeper level.Whatever one knows, it is important to know that there is more beyond oneís level of knowledge.


†† On Friday night one supposed to say the blessing over a braided challah.However, a Yemenite Jewish table may not even have a braided challah.It is a European custom not Middle Eastern.Itís not wrong, it is just different.


†† The knot on the tefillin, how one wraps it on the arm and the proper blessings are specified.Yet, the Ashkenazi and Sephardi practices differ in all these matters.There are over 4 different knot styles.†† How does one react to a different knot or way of placing teffilin?ďI am not familiar with that wayĒ or ďIt is wrong?Ē


The Haggadah and Passover practices can differ dramatically from community to community.Peanuts are allowed by the Sephardim but, not by the Ashkenzi.What is established for one community may seem to contradict another.Neither is wrong but are different customs established for different needs.


†† There are over 30 versions of the Siddur.They tend to be similar but differ in the inclusion or exclusion of some prayers or the order of prayers.Compiled by scholars more knowledgeable that any Baal Teshuvah they all have the same goal; to lead one a proper order of prayer.


†† The Baal Teshuvah knows what he knows.The wise and educated man knows what he knows but he also knows what he doesnít know.





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Judaism, A Religion of New Beginnings

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Special Role of the Baal Teshuvah

Unity From Acceptance

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