Monday, October 31, 2005

Why learn if you don't have to?

Orthoprax writes of a conversation among frum girls discussing Gemara that he overheard*:
they weren't talking about something within the Gemara but about how girls aren't "supposed" to study girl said about it, "Why would you learn Gemara if you didn't have to?" She was referring to the belief that learning Gemara is a mandated obligation that Jewish men have to perform, but which Jewish women do not. But I thought that was a terrible approach to learning and is what is wrong with so much of the world today.
Obviously this girl seems vapid and intellectually incurious. Lots of people are. And since she was probably a teenager, not at the peak of her intellectual potential. But its just as likely that its less that and more that she's convinced herself that "there's nothing to see, move along" in the Talmud because it makes the fact that she will never engage with the most important Jewish primary source which a great deal of her lifestyle and beliefs come from a smoother pill to swallow.

If so, a pity.

*A literary device, perhaps? ;)

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