‘The Tenacity of Unreasonable Beliefs: Fundamentalism and the Fear of Truth’ by Dr. Solomon Schimmel

Solomon Schimmel is father to my friend David and a professor at Hebrew College.

He’s published this new book through Oxford University Press (and here is Solomon’s blog).

It is primarily about why Orthodox Jews do not accept secular scholarship about the origins of the Torah — that it is a post-Mosaic composite work. Orthodoxy posits that the Torah came directly from God to Moses and every word of it is divine and binding upon us Jews (as interpreted by the rabbis).

I pressed leading Modern Orthodox scholar Marc B. Shapiro on this score a few months ago.

Despite his heretical beliefs, Schimmel belongs to an Orthodox synagogue.

On page 13, he writes that his Orthodox beliefs, values, emotions, behavior and community "have weakened as a consequence of my skepticism, and their replacements have not been as intense, vigorous, joyous, and existentially meaningful as was Orthodoxy."

Schimmel wants to convert the Orthodox to his way of thinking, thus robbing them of the same joy and meaning he once had.

Here is a review of Schimmel’s book and a smart response to the review.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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