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10.2.14

I would here like to defend the idea of sitting and learning Torah [i.e Gemara, Rashi, Tosphot].
I would like to approach this from a few different angles. The first would be philosophy. From the standpoint of philosophy of Plato there are objective moral values that can be perceived by reason. While this should be taken in the larger platonic context of the question of universals at least as far as right living is concerned it is a clear tradition in Plato and Aristotle  and the later rationalist school that moral values can be perceived by reason. Though certainly Nietzsche was right that most of what people call moral values is their Id projecting itself onto their consciousness. But that only proved that it is hard to reason correctly and we knew that before Nietzsche.Even the intuitionist school does not claim we can easily perceive moral values. [well actually it does look like Prichard did hold that but the modern Intuitionist school headed by Michael Huemer does not hold that way.]

Well if we have gotten this far then we have already closed the gap between reason and Torah to a large degree. We know now that there are objective moral vales but these values are hard to see. We agree we can be distracted by our Id. [The Id is an discovery of Nietzsche, not Freud incidentally.]
 We know that according to the Rambam [Maimonides ] that Saadia Geon that the ground and basis of all Torah law is in reason, not divine decree. Both the Rambam and Saadia Geon reject the ground of Divine decree for Torah and say rather it needs to be ground in reason. [The reason they both do this is they did not want the laws of the Torah to be arbitrary].

So far we have now got philosophy and the Torah to be rather close.We know that the project of the Gemara [Talmud]] is to use reason to understand the Divine Will as expressed in the Torah. And the Torah was given as the Rambam says because not everyone is smart enough to start from scratch and find a moral path.

Part of the reasoning here is also based on the idea that morality is hard to decipher and also that there is no mathematical algorithm to decide any issue in moral at all. that means we are all left with the arduous task on using reason the decide what objective morality would have to say about any given issue. this is exactly what the Talmud is trying to do.

It is also possible to defend the idea of sitting and learning Torah from Bava Sali.
The existence of people that did this and did succeed in some way to come to some kind of spiritual levels in which they no only gained wisdom in life for themselves but for others also is powerful recommendation of following the path of Torah.
In this essay I am not dealing with specific question that must arise in people minds when they hear this--in fact the major question that people have on this is an ad hominum argument and not worthy of discussion in the  first place. So not all people that are in their exterior dress are following the path of Torah in their deeds? Is that supposed to be a kashe [question ]on the Torah??