While it is true, as Professor Kugel indicated, that we tend to “like to be told what to do,” the limiting of knowledge to rigid practice makes for an extremely narrow philosophy of adherence. It is not just an exclusionary philosophy, but also a system that pushes those who might otherwise choose to be part of our religious community even farther away from the beauty of our beliefs.
We must allow ourselves to return to the system of understanding, insight, and questioning that leads to growth in both belief and practice. It has been the foundation of our existence and always will be.
About the Author:Dr. Michael J. Salamon is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the author of numerous articles and books, most recently “Abuse in the Jewish Community” (Urim Publications).
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I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.