Some of the most serious challenges to traditional Orthodox faith come from academic approaches to the Bible, including what is generally termed Biblical criticism. The Rambam formulated thirteen principles of faith; his eighth principle is succinctly (though inexactly) summarized in the well known Ani Maamin, which says: I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah found currently in our possession is that which was given to Moshe our teacher. And while this is far from a perfect summary of the actual words of the Rambam, it’s close enough to give anyone who has familiarity with both lower and higher Biblical criticism pause.
How should a religious Jew relate to academic study of theTorah and the challenges it presents? Are we forced to live with the questions, or are there compelling approaches which defend the traditional view while also being acceptable in the academy? Should a person stay away from these questions, or is the search for truth paramount, even as it may be dangerous?
To answer these and other questions, Scott spoke with Rabbi Dr. Joshua Berman, Professor of Tanach at Bar Ilan University.
Rabbi Berman’s latest book, and the focus of this weeks episode of Orthodox Conundrum, is Ani Maamin: Biblical Criticism, Historical Accuracy and the Thirteen Principles of Faith. It may be purchased at www.amazon.com/Ani-Maamin-Critic…les/dp/1592645380.
This coming January Rabbi Berman will be leading a tour to Egypt, “In the Footsteps of the Exodus” in conjunction with Kesher Tours. The tour will be the first ever kosher tour of the great sites of Egypt through the eyes of the Tanakh. keshertours.com/tours/egypt/
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Music: “Happy Rock” by bensound.com