Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Logic vs. Tradition


[Note: "Halevi" below is Rabbi Yehudah haLevi, author of the Kuzari]

"Karaites prided themselves on the use of logical analogy (qiyas/heqesh) for the derivation of laws… Nevertheless, Halevi argues that in religion, it is tradition, and not logical analogy, which is absolutely necessary. The Karaites themselves would admit that the Torah cannot even be read correctly without reliance on received guidance concerning vocalization. If qiyas, rather than tradition, were used in order to read the Torah, numerous errors would be made. In similar fashion, when it comes to the commandments, unrestrained logical analogy will undoubtedly mislead worshippers rather than help them achieve religious perfection."

(Professor Daniel Lasker, From Judah Hadassi to Elijah Bashyatchi: Studies in Late Medieval Karaite Philosophy pg. 150-151)

Have a great day,

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