Jewish Thought

General Question

29.01.19

Question

I have a question that has been bothering me for some time. Much of the study of Judaism, such as the Talmud is filled with debates. Even in Jewish law there is debates, such as between the Rambam and his colleagues, or the Beit Yosef and Rav Isserlis. But from what I have learned that all makes sense, because there can be truths on different spiritual levels and the origin of the sages souls also matters. But what I really do not understand is how there can be two practical truths, as in, how do Sefardim and Ashkenazim hold differently in actual practice, or how is there different versions of prayer books, I don't mean a minor custom or stringency, rather mean real big differences? Did God want different laws for different Jews, not better or worse, just different?? Where do we see that this was Gods intention? How do we know this is what god wanted, and not some technicality? I understand it is all divine providence, but is there a source for this idea? Can you find these ideas in the Torah? To summarize, how does it make sense that there can be 2 Jews, practicing Judaism, 2 different ways, if we have one god and one Torah?

Answer

To the Questioner,

Just as you write that "there can be truths on different spiritual levels", so too, the parralel level in this world that one expresses when he performs the actual practice can differ. 

According to the spiritual realities, we have passed down, that every tribe of the Jewish Nation has their own unique spritual-source way of how to worship G-d - although all still need to remain within the unified context of halacha - the practical law. 

The source for this is the fact that different tribes were gifted with different qualities, and each needs to emphasize it's unique nature. 

Source:
 Devorim 33. 

In addition, it is clear from the Torah that each tribe of the Jewish nation had it's unique and different position to play with the context of the entire Jewish nation.

Source:
Bamidbar 2.

Since they are all practicing within the context of one and the same Code of Jewish Law, it is not considered two approaches but varied technical applications of one.

With blessings, 
Rav Nachum

 

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