Intellectual Study in Judaism

By Rabbi Leib Tropper

Jewish culture places a high value on education and study. The leaders of Jewish spiritual life are called “rabbis,” a name that translates to “teacher.” Many Jewish parents enroll their children in religious-education programs in addition to their secular schools so that they may participate in the tradition of studying Jewish holy texts, laws, and histories.

While some scholars eventually become rabbis (and thus lead others in their spiritual and religious education journeys), other scholars prefer to study as a life commitment, in an effort to learn for the sake of learning.

It is fairly common for serious Jewish scholars to engage in full-time study at some point of their lives, and often these periods of research lead to new, analytical, and interpretative texts on the older texts. This, of course, only perpetuates the cycle of study: as Jews progress through time, they produce more and more scholarship that can be examined in a scholarly setting.

Author Leib TropperAbout Rabbi Leib Tropper: Leib Tropper began studying Jewish texts at the age of 15, when he wrote an original interpretation of a complex Talmudic issue. At 16, he again proposed a new explanation for an ancient issue. In his adult life, Tropper still enjoys writing and has recently published two books.

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