Ethical Norms as the Foundation of Torah
Parashat VaEtchanan

Ethan Tucker

One of the most difficult and wrenching experiences one can have is to feel that they are. We have all felt it at one point or another, if only for a fleeting moment: Our understanding of what God wants of us and our understanding of what is demanded of the average, decent person sometimes feel irreconcilable. Should these two different discourses and frames remain separate or ought they to be integrated in some meaningful way? Is the parochial covenantal discourse of the Jewish covenant meant to be walled off from a more general human discourse about what is right? Or does the Torah intend for these conversations to be unified, even if a great deal of learning and searching is required in order to bridge the apparent gaps between them?

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