Thursday, November 18, 2010

Quote of the Day: R' Isaac Lichtenstein on the Talmud

The latest issue of FFOZ's Messiah Journal contains a number of must-read articles, including biographies of Franz Delitzsch and Messianic luminary R' Isaac Lichtenstein.  The following quote is from "The Talmud on Trial," Lichtenstein's response to an anti-Talmud book published in his day called Netivot Olam ("The Old Paths").  Here's a brief excerpt from Lichtenstein's response:
Allow me to take this opportunity to demosntrate that the Talmud often agrees with the Gospels. Just as in all the main points of ethics there is agreement, so also both the Talmud and Gospels condemn pride, arrogance, and presumption. Consider the following concluding argument from the Talmud in regards to the above-cited quotation:
Whoever humbles himself, he will be lifted up by the Holy One, blessed be he; but whoever lifts himself up arrogantly in pride, he will be abased by the Holy One, blessed be he. Whoever covets positions of honor, from him honor retreats. Whoever shuns a position of honor, a position of honor pursues that one. Whoever tries to go against the“spirit of the times” (Zeitgeist), the current of time will oppose him; he will be pulverized by the flywheel of time. But whoever takes into account present-day conditions will find that time actually, regularly assists him and proves to be to his advantage. (b.Eruvin 13b)
This is the first time that Lichtenstein's "The Talmud on Trial" has been published in English.  Pick up a copy of the latest issue of Messiah Journal to read the whole thing!

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