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13.7.15

My advice for Americans that are upset about the attack on Biblical values: to learn Torah.
Normally that means the Oral and Written law but in this case an introduction would be in order.
That is Musar (Jewish Ethics). There are classical books of Jewish ethics based on the Old Testament which give a good idea of the basic world view of Torah. There was an actual movement among the Jewish people to learn Musar that was based in Vilnius and its founder was Israel Salanter. It kind of went into hibernation but it might be a good idea to awaken this again.

Musar has the advantage that is is not trying to fit Torah into some alternative reality worldview but is a rigorous evaluation of the texts. It will not be trying to sell you on believing in anyone except for the First Cause. It will be encouraging to follow all the laws of the Torah. So even if there are people that may learn it and yet not be perfect it has the effect of encouraging people towards objective morality.


My recommendation is the Or Israel by a disciple of Israel Salanter and the Duties of the Heart [the first Musar book ever]. That was written in the Middle Ages and is the father of all Musar books.
As for a comprehensive view of Torah that draws together the various strands of thought in the oral and written Torah  And it might be a good idea for people to take  a look at his writings also. While some people  do go a little overboard with him but still his writings are invaluable for those that need a integrated view of Torah that makes sense.