Does Jewish Tradition Recognize a Spirituality Independent of Halakhah?

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2 Responses

  1. EM says:

    This article is still trapped in the mindset it claim to challenge.

    First, the very question refering to “a spirituality outside of halacha” as opposed to, say, outside of “torah,” stacks the deck.

    More importantly, the author ends up seeing three models of simchah – generated by halachic observance, hedonistic, and oriented towards God – and promoting the third. But this simply reads-in a halachic absolutism (option 1) that is not present in the Gemara itself. The gemara simply has two categories – God-oriented and not. The first category, “shel mitzvah,” includes more than halachic observance -as the cited rashi notes, it includes emotional states that are oriented toward connecting with God.

    The authors initial assumption that “simchah shel mitzvah” must = “spirituality generated by halachic observance” shows just how pervasive the mindset he is trying to challenge is.

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