Scholarship guides simplicity. Without the research scholar there would not be enough reality to build any semblance of science around. But truth is always able to be simply stated. Though, in studying, we tend to tunnel off against dawning simplicity by adjusting our research ship's rudder in awe of authority. Such worship is the religion that actually is the objective of scientific probing.
Because of this, neither religion or science have made much real progress.
However science easily gets the upper hand when its theorems can be proven by useful technologies; when products that work derive from law's discovered, it becomes needed in a way that religion never does.; religion is never expected to deliver methodologies for useful devices.
If religion is presumed to have no products of general worth to adjust the theology of its theorems around, this was not always the case. The great emancipation and redistribution of Israel into a promised land; the Jesus, who emerged as a product of that great upheaval; truly provided a way of practical translation from instructional based methodology to internalized principles. However, that way, if remembered at all, is vaguely Methodist. Today, the whole concept has been diluted under the drumbeat of a Salvation as narrow as a sinner crawling pathetically between pub and cathedral.
Salvation, as truth itself is, MUST be all inclusive! What of the Jew? Is there not more to be expected from Talmudic scholarship? After all, the practicality of life under Hashem is much more a part of everyday evaluation in Jewish perspective. Both antisemitism and parochial hegemony stand in the way. Israel is not a race; it is not a culture; it is not a people, even. It is a character.
Today it appears as if multi-cultural-ism, or ecumenical-ism are plausible concepts; however, it was always character that came first. Character proceeds culture. George Bernard Shaw penned this best when one of his Major Barbara characters says: "Money does not rule England. It is ruled by the character of the English." Relationship to Abraham does not determine Israel, it is defined by the character of Jacob. It was such that Hashem loved while Esau he hated. Jesus was of Israel and therefore most definitely the same kind of aggressive pursuer.
Let us thus investigate the study of Salt and its Savor, through the perusals of Rabbi Adin 'Even Israel' Steinsaltz (literally the Stone's Salt) and try to find a simple summation of both this baby and this bath water from his 80 years of attempt at reckoning. We'll include the thoughts of Rabbi Jacob Neusner into our testing of the waters as well. What marks these two men most is their rivalry and the compendium of possibilities that they represent.
Life as a Jewish respondent to Hashem works and meaning is reachable within the scope of their lifetimes of study, with Jacob Neusner passing some time ago at the age of 84.
Steinsalz is primarily a publisher and dispenser of Talmudic thought; much of which Neusner didn't quite agree with throughout his lifetime.
When Reform Judaism and Modern Orthodox Judaism ask the same questions, insight ought to be forthcoming. That it was seems evident in the charge made by another Steinsalz critic, Eleizer Waldenberg: "religion has the power to poison the soul". Well, there's been no lack of poison distribution so far in the battle to comprehend the Hashem and his love of us.
He was as much an aggressive scheming scoundrel has Jacob was for the Kingdom.
As far as Christianity goes: one of the problems is finding a suitable Christianity to be representative of it and finding the will to challenge it. Neusner thought he had a bit of good response from Pope Benedict the sixteenth, possibly the last Pope of Rome. There is this maddening response to Christianity among the tribe of Judah: everything from assimilation drive to total separatism. Yet, there is no explanation of either Christianity or the assimilation involved in creating the office of Christ's Vicar and how he has come to represent Christianity's broadest definition. Where did this middle man consumption begin? Quite certainly it was due the worship the power around theory that has gotten Israel into trouble since the days of Solomon. Do not covet thy neighbor's gods? The Pope, were he a Vicar, would be a god; and that he might be, is patently ridiculous and an affront to what journalistic scripture Christianity is based upon.
The Talmud is, nevertheless, plagued with this over-man idealization in the same way that Islam later became over infected. Thus, thinkers during the Middle Ages were prejudiced, resulting in distorted and reactionary content. The Mishnah and its commentary, the Gemara-Talmud, of that time, transcended into a new dialectic based on false assumptions. In the eleventh century, Gershom ben Judah wrote a commentary on several tractates of the Babylonian Talmud along with Rashi. In these, the Rishonim continued their work up until the 15th century. Much of this was perceived as a pernicious blasphemy by Christians. Thus, in 1242 Pope Gregory the IX ordered the burning of copies of the Talmud.
It is quite clear that only Paul, Sanhedrin that he was until he became a follower of Rabbi Yeshua, had any right to speak on this subject, later entirely perverted by Nazi extensions of Holy Roman conspirators, Europe descended into a blatant secularism that had never yet been dreamed of. Judaism, also followed suit. Thus was the bath water constituted and ever since has been attempted to be flushed down. There is neither Jew nor Christian of any substantive worth. None can be identified in the swirl of froth surrounding them. The greater Israelite(s) of Trump may have come to be a rescue in this. May it become so.