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Did you ask a good question today?

07/28/2017 04:00:00 AM

Jul28

Isidor I. Rabi, the Nobel laureate in physics was once asked, ''Why did you become a scientist, rather than a doctor or lawyer or businessman, like the other immigrant kids in your neighborhood? My mother made me a scientist without ever intending it. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school: 'So? Did you learn anything today?' But not my mother. She always asked me a different question. 'Izzy,' she would say, 'did you ask a good question today?' That difference - asking good questions -made me become a scientist!'' The Talmud one of the central pieces of Jewish literature tries to explain Jewish practice based on the art of asking questions. It was written between 200 and 600 CE, and is in many ways a compendium of Jewish questions on how to practice Judaism and the conversations that arose from those questions. Of the 5000 conversations in the Talmud on Jewish practice very few have a bottom line. It was the conversation, the result of asking questions, that was key to understanding how to practice Judaism. So while asking questions made Isidor Rabi a great scientist, so to, does asking questions make us good Jews. Therefore, in the spirit of asking questions, I leave you with a question: How does understanding Judaism as a religion of asking questions instead of one of finding hard bottom line answers affect your understanding and connection to Judaism? Also, because it is important to not just say we ask questions but to model the practice I wanted to let you know that tonight and every fourth Shabbat instead of a sermon I will do a ten minute ask the Rabbi. I look forward to seeing you tonight and bring your questions. Shabbat Shalom!
Sat, September 21 2019 21 Elul 5779