Translate

17.2.16

Why is it that all religious commentaries on the Torah are so superficial and trite?

The sin of Adam and Eve. The Ari goes into this in detail but his explanations are characteristic of the Ari. That is:- he explains the types of damage that was caused to Nukva {the Female} and to Zeir Anpin etc. It is not a very satisfying explanation.


Reb Chaim Vital in the beginning of Eitz Chaim say the sin was being occupied with the tree of knowledge of good and evil instead of the tree of life. The Rishonim have also a few explanations.

But what I have wished for was something more thematic. Something that would do more than make superficial sense. And that is not just on that part of the Torah, but on the whole Torah. In spite of this wish, I have never found such  thing.

I mean  something like you would hear from your English literature teachers about  Shakespeare or the Book of Job.

I am not sure how to explain this. But I am not looking for moral lessons, nor "gematriot," nor spiritual revelations. Rather something that you would hear in a Literature Class about Dostoevsky or from a Philosophy professor about the plays of Plato.

Like: "What was the snake thinking? "What was Eve thinking? How can you prove what you are saying, and not just make random speculations? Why did they not die that day? What did Adam hope to gain?" I have wished for something related to the text and not just people using the text to launch into some crusade. And sadly throughout my studies I have never found anything like that.



In other words, when you were in English Literature, what did the teacher talk about in the Book of Job? He or she would ask "What was Job saying? What were the arguments of his friends? How did they differ? How can you show and prove that that is what they were saying? How did Job answer his friends?"
So the same here with Adam and Eve.
Why is it that all religious commentaries on the Torah are so superficial and trite?

I would love to re-read my notes that I took in High School about the Book Of Job just to see how the teacher was analyzing it and see if I can gain any insight about how to see the patterns and motivations in other books of the Torah. The problem is all the commentaries cover up the hidden layers by means of their "explanations"\

I should mention that I brought up this problem with my learning partner and he suggested that Nachmanides fills this role. And from what I have heard from him this seems right. He in fact seems to deal with the basic themes and hows how they are developed within the context of the Torah itself.
The good thing for English speaking people is  Nachmanides on the Torah is in English